Mullane and Browne to decide on Deise futures
Two of the longest-serving GAA inter-county players are expected to inform Waterford hurling manager Michael Ryan of their intentions for 2013 in the next week.
Ryan, who has already had to deal with the loss of Philip Mahony and Stephen Molumphy, is to sit down with Tony Browne and John Mullane next week and discuss their intentions.
Both players have sat out the early stages of the league in recent years, and Mullane recently indicated that he was undecided about his future.
Browne will be 40 in the summer and if he commits to another season it would be a remarkable milestone to play beyond that barrier. That may tempt the Mount Sion man back for a 21st season with Waterford.
He began his career in 1992, sat out '93, but has been virtually ever-present since.
"I'll be talking to both of them next week. I hope they commit," said Ryan.
Meanwhile, Louth footballer Aaron Hoey will also be making a decision in the coming weeks about his future. Only Sligo's Eamonn O'Hara, whose own future is also in doubt, has been around for longer than Hoey, who made his championship debut in 1997.
Hoey, who has had knee trouble of late, was not considered for the O'Byrne Cup programme and with Louth manager Aidan O'Rourke due to finalise a squad towards the end of the month, it may bring an end to his 16-year involvement.
Longford manager Glenn Ryan expects Paul Barden to return for the second half of the league as he recovers from groin surgery.