After a topsy-turvy Leinster Championship which went down to the final day, Kilkenny are back where they always want to be: the All-Ireland final.
Speaking to Maire Treasa of Off The Ball, Kilkenny hurler Paul Murphy said it hasn't been an easy ride getting there.
“The competition for the All-Ireland is bigger than ever I suppose, there are so many teams competing.
“You see teams not getting out of the provincial championships who in the last few years have been competing in All-Ireland finals, the likes of Waterford this year," Murphy said.
Self-belief is something all Kilkenny players have no matter what situation they're in and this year was no different.
“We had players that have left the panel and new players have come in but we don’t like to use it as an excuse because it’s not.
“Any year we go out we feel we can win an All-Ireland and we have a team capable of doing it.
“This was a year that people would have said we’re not ready to compete for an All-Ireland final and we’ve proven them wrong," the Danesfort man said.
Murphy knows how tough it is when you're not competing for the Liam MacCarthy Cup, that's where Kilkenny found themselves last year.
“It’s disappointing when you’ve been privileged enough to get to All-Ireland finals and to have that journey cut short is disappointing, you almost don’t know what to do with yourself.
“I’ve been at All-Ireland finals and I’ve watched on and it’s not a nice place to be.
“Any player on any inter-county panel who goes to this All-Ireland final will be looking down saying 'I wish that was me,'" he said.
Experience is always vital on All-Ireland final day and Murphy said it's something both Kilkenny and Tipperary have in abundance.
“It’s addictive I suppose just running out and playing that’s what you really love doing, there's a lot that goes with it. Marching behind the Artane Boys Band and meeting the President, that’s all part and parcel of it.
“The rest of it you’re just trying to keep your mind focused on it. It’s been great that we have some players that have been there and done it," the right corner-back stated.