Kildare footballers have been dealt a blow by the withdrawal of Gary White from the squad. A panellist since 2008, when he also captained the county U-21s to an All-Ireland final, army man White has been a regular at midfield this year but will be departing on a six-month tour of duty to Lebanon in May.
After a couple of campaigns when he fell out of favour, White (below) has been prominent as Kildare have won all seven of their games in 2013 – beating the last three All-Ireland champions in bagging the O'Byrne Cup and claiming full points in the league.
A lieutenant in the Transport Corps in Dublin, the 25-year-old had been hoping he might be able to postpone his departure or be assigned another trip but in the end, he had to make a tough decision.
"It's not like it's Johnny Doyle leaving the squad, so it isn't really big news," said White.
"It is disappointing for me personally alright, especially the way it's going at the moment, but I have to think of the bigger picture. My three-year-old daughter Holly comes before football, and that means my career must come before football.
"I will play away for Sarsfields for another month or so but will have to pack that up then too as I can't take the risk of picking up an injury."
Meanwhile, Wexford's Diarmuid 'Gizzy' Lyng faces an uncertain inter-county hurling future as he continues to fight a viral problem. It has now been accepted Lyng will play no part in the current league when Wexford open their campaign against Carlow in Dr Cullen Park on Sunday next.
Wexford manager Liam Dunne has been left with a litany of injuries. Also out of the Carlow game is Keith Rossiter (shoulder), PJ Nolan (ankle ligaments), Liam Og McGovern (hip operation), Matthew O'Hanlon (studying in Spain), Diarmuid O'Keeffe (going travelling in May), while Kevin Gore has joined the football squad.