Experienced Laois hurler Neil Foyle is confident that the county can have a big year.
Under the new format, Laois will be plying their trade in Tier 2 where counties will be battling it out for the Joe McDonagh Cup, while the winners will be promoted to the Leinster SHC round robin series for 2019.
A place in the All-Ireland SHC quarterfinals is also up for grabs and Foyle believes that Laois are well placed to push on this year, despite losing so many players over the last 12 months or so.
"We're looking forward to the year. I think it's going to be a cracking year," Foyle told the Leinster Express. "We have seven games in nine weeks, I think that's what's its fairing out to be, so it's going to be boot to the floor, but I think Laois are prepared for that, the last few years we had the three or four weeks of the Round Robin in a row, and then straight into the Leinster championship, so we're well used to hurling week on week, so it going to be exciting.
"In terms of hurling, we're going to get plenty of it, and that's exactly why we play hurling, so it's going to be an exciting few weeks, starting with the Walsh Cup."