Adrian Mullen insists no pressure on Kilkenny to end All-Ireland drought

Kilkenny forward Adrian Mullen has said the team does not feel added pressure to end their nine-year wait for an All-Ireland title.

After losing the All-Ireland finals in 2022 and 2023 to Limerick, Kilkenny defeated John Kiely’s side to reach Saturday’s Allianz League Division One against Clare.

With the Leinster championship getting underway in two weeks’ time, Mullen believes a National League title can help build momentum into their season.

“We are in a privileged position to be facing into a Allianz Hurling league final this Saturday,” he told “It is a competitive game, there is a national title on the line, we will be going full belt to be trying to get over the line.

“I think Clare are in the same boat, they will be going hell for leather as well. If we do win, that will give the team a bit of confidence, probably install a bit of winning mentality into the team, that will be a huge bonus if we get over the line.

“Any day you go up against any of these teams, the Clares, the Limericks, the Corks, the Tipperarys, you have to go for it. Any given day, a team can come out the right side of it.”

While he may be only 24, Mullen has experience as he has been part of this team since he was 19.

While he may have grown up watching a dominant Kilkenny team that will go down as one of the greatest Irish sporting teams, this Kilkenny team have not lifted the Liam McCarty Cup since 2015.

In a county where expectations for hurling is high, Mullen insists there is no added pressure, with all concentration on this weekend’s game.

“I wouldn’t say its pressure. Obviously we are a proud hurling county. With that great team that won the four-in-a-row and a few other All-Irelands, we were probably used to winning All-Irelands.

“Every year our goal is to go on and win an All-Ireland. This year is no different. Like any other team competing in the Liam McCarthy, we want to go on and try win an All-Ireland.

“It would be a huge achievement for this team to win the Allianz Hurling League. All the games are really tough and competitive. To come out the right side of them is a plus and installs a winning mentality.

“Winning is obviously a habit, and brings that bit of confidence to the team. If we are lucky enough to get over the line this Saturday, it will only be a bonus to is in the next few weeks.”

For Mullen, this season has been the first time he has been able to get a pre-season under his belt with Kilkenny.

The Ballyhale Shamrocks hurler was part of the team who suffered a shock defeat in the county final, which gave him time before the season got underway with Kilkenny.

While opinions have been divided over the split season, Mullen backs the move, as he is able to give his all for club and county.

“I can only give my opinion on it, but for me, I see it as a positive. You get to give your all for your county for the first part of the season. When that’s over, you can wrap things up with the club and give it your all.

“If you are lucky enough to progress with the club, it rolls on longer, and one season rolls into the other. I think that’s a win-win as well, you just want to be playing games.

“I see it as a positive anyway.”


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