NIALL CAREW is poised to become the new Sligo football manager, with Pat Flanagan's successor to be unveiled before county board delegates tonight.
The appointment has been shrouded in secrecy and, even this morning, Sligo chairman Joe Taaffe was refusing to confirm the Kildare native's appointment "out of respect" to club delegates.
"We are having a county board meeting tonight and it will be announced tonight," was all Taaffe would say, despite being told of quotes from the prospective manager talking about his new Sligo challenge.
Carew was Waterford manager for the last two seasons but ended his Deise tenure last month with a statement in which he claimed the county was "swimming against the tide" because of a lack of commitment to preparation at underage level.
The 40-year-old had previously served as forwards coach and selector during the first five years of Kieran McGeeney's Lilywhite reign - from 2008 to 2012. Former Kildare star Ronan Sweeney, part of his Waterford management this year, will follow Carew to Sligo.
Portlaoise's stranglehold on the Laois SFC shows no signs of loosening - but now the eight-in-a-row champions are desperate to set the Leinster record straight.
The Town easily accounted for Arles-Killeen - 2-14 to 0-9 - in yesterday's disappointing O'Moore Park decider. Two injury time goals from Paul Cahillane (a superb individual goal) and Ricky Maher iced the victory cake.
Yet they've only claimed one provincial title during this era of local dominance - in 2009 - losing the last two Leinster club finals to the Dublin standard-bearers, Ballymun Kickhams and current All-Ireland champions St Vincent's.
With a first round bye because of Wexford's inability to deliver a representative on time, Portlaoise now have an early chance to atone: they will host the Dublin champions in a November 9 quarter-final at O'Moore Park.
"They've beaten everyone bar the Dublin champions in those last seven years, and I think in three weeks' time we have Plunkett's or Vincent's here," said Portlaoise mentor Niall Tully. "That's the one we want, the players want."