Sunday 25 September 2016

Lillis delight as Munnelly and Meaney sign up for campaign

Daragh Ó Conchúir

Published 05/01/2016 | 02:30

Ross Munnelly has been hailed by new Laois manager Mick Lillis. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach / SPORTSFILE
Ross Munnelly has been hailed by new Laois manager Mick Lillis. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach / SPORTSFILE

New Laois manager Mick Lillis has hailed the influence of veterans Kevin Meaney and Ross Munnelly, who have committed themselves to another season of inter-county duty.

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Munnelly is the only surviving member of the last Laois team to win a Leinster Championship, in 2003 - he has been a regular since bursting on to the scene as a teenager that term.

There had been suggestions that he might call time on his career but the Arles-Kilcruise man, who was Tomás Ó Flatharta's captain last year, has returned to the fold.

Munnelly played no part in Sunday's one-point Bord na Móna O'Byrne Cup victory over UCD at Park Ratheniska, but Meaney was introduced to considerable effect at the beginning of the final quarter, scoring two points.

"Kevin is a firm favourite with the Laois faithful" said Lillis on Midlands 103. "People understand and recognise what he has given to the cause over the last 10 years.

"We worked very hard at getting Kevin back. Kevin loves Laois and he wanted to come back. It's great to have him.

"Ross is very positive around the place. He's a great influence on lads, a fantastic role model.

"I was disappointed a few lads decided they wouldn't commit for different reasons, but that's life."

Lillis insists that players will be selected on current form, rather than past achievements.

"It's a new regime. I told everybody at the start they'd have a clean slate. I've given starts to the lads that have put in the work. They can all play. It's just to have the confidence to play consistently at this level."

Irish Independent

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