Top sportswriters single out Kilkenny young gun Adrian Mullen as ‘one to watch’
NOT too many pundits are tipping Kilkenny to go all the way in this year’s championship as Brian Cody battles an injury crisis that has ruled out many of his key players.
But there is hope the Ballyhale young guns who helped propel the Shamrocks to victory in the All-Ireland club championship will make a big impression on the inter-country scene this summer.
Irish Independent writers Vincent Hogan and Michael Verney have singled out Ballyhale’s Adrian Mullen as one of the “young stars to watch in 2019”.
Speaking on the Throw In Podcast, in association with Bord Gais Energy, Verney said: “Everyone will be looking to see what Adrian Mullen produces with Kilkenny, I would imagine he’d start, I think he struggled in a game against Cork, I think it was only 10 days after the club final.”
He added: “It’d be a quare old baptism of fire, and there would be an awful lot of expectation on him. But, he clearly has talent.”
Leading sportswriter Vincent Hogan agrees Mullen is an exciting prospect.
“Adrian Mullen has been outstanding for Ballyhale, I think it has been very difficult for the Ballyhale lads, straight into hurling with the club again, and I think he’s one of the players who struggled to keep the form going,” said Hogan.
Nineteen-year-old Mullen scored five points in the club All-Ireland and has been likened to manager and eleven-time All-Star, Henry Shefflin.
There’s no doubting the Ballyhale youngster’s talent, but Cody is going to need big performances from all his team as they prepare to face Dublin in their opening Leinster round-robin game this weekend minus two-time All-Star keeper Eoin Murphy, Cillian Buckley, James Maher, Conor Delaney and Rob Lennon.