Antrim hurling selector Gary O'Kane is looking forward to 2018 when the Saffrons will compete in Division 1B of the Allianz League as well as in the newly-created Tier 2 championship.
"When you look at our league fixtures, you see that we will be up against All-Ireland champions Galway as well as sides such as Limerick and Dublin," he noted in the Belfast Telegraph.
"Those are teams that are above our station at the moment but we have to try and get up to their level. Then when the league is over we have to try and retain our Ulster championship title before we embark on the new All-Ireland format."
O'Kane welcomes the fact that Antrim will have at least five championship games to look forward to against Laois, Westmeath, Carlow, Kerry and Meath.
"To be getting a minimum of five straight championship games is a bonus for Antrim and we want to make the most of it. I would just love to see the fans row in behind the team and give them the lift they need. I think our supporters could play an invaluable role," he added.
"The fact that we will be involved in high-profile games for the next three years at least is surely an inducement to people to throw their weight behind us."