Kilkenny manager Brian Cody believes that every game they play is a stepping stone towards the start of the NHL campaign.
The Cats have had two comfortable wins in the Walsh Cup so far and they are expected to beat Offaly in this weekend's semi-final which will set up a final meeting with either Dublin or Wexford.
Despite the comfortable wins over Laois and Kildare, the Kilkenny manager is adamant that all games are worthwhile as the focus is on preparing for the Division 1A campaign.
"This is all geared towards three weeks' time when the National League starts, which is very early for the league as well," Cody states in this week's Kilkenny People.
"The Walsh Cup starts off the year for us, and it is an opportunity to look for players. That is the usual thing for the start of the year. That is all part of the scene. We are just looking at the different players at the moment. We are trying to get competition for places going."