Laois hurling blow as Hyland retires
New Laois hurling manager Eamonn Kelly has been hit with a huge setback ahead of preparations for 2017 with the news that attacking stalwart Willie Hyland has hung up his inter-county boots.
The stylish forward, 28, from Clough-Ballacolla called time on his 11-year county career, citing serious hip injuries and in his retirement statement he said that "at inter-county level if you can't give 100pc then you're at nothing".
It was "an honour to wear the blue and white" for Hyland and the crafty left-hander paid special tribute to previous manager Seamus 'Cheddar' Plunkett, "who gave us days in a Laois jersey that many didn't think was possible."
Their shock Leinster SHC defeat of Offaly in 2015, their first championship defeat of their great rivals since 1972, was a career highlight with Hyland firing seven points from play in a virtuoso performance and his absence will be sorely felt.
Elsewhere, Tyrone's Sean O'Kane is to succeed Ronan Clarke as manager of Armagh ladies footballers.
O'Kane - an All-Ireland MFC winner with his native county - takes over from Clarke, who stepped down in October, and he will be joined by Noel O'Kane and Paddy Toner in the new backroom team.