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Donie is key man: Parkinson

DONIE KINGSTON'S somewhat surprising selection in the Laois team for Sunday's Leinster SFC opener with Louth is, according to former senior footballer Colm Parkinson, a belatedly smart move by manager Justin McNulty.

Kingston left the Laois panel last month, albeit briefly, after apparently becoming disillusioned because of a lack of game-time, but returned just days later and has been selected at centre-forward by McNulty for Sunday.

"He's our Michael Murphy. He's our main man. You have to plámás him, you have to get on his side, you have to man-manage him," said Portlaoise man Parkinson, who enjoyed a short spell of club football in the capital with Parnell's "You have to make sure he's happy. And that's why I think he should have played every League game this year."

He added: "I would be disappointed if Laois don't get to a Leinster final. To make a bit of progress this year, it has to be a Leinster final appearance," concluded Parkinson.

pPAUL Barden will lead the Longford attack for Sunday's trip to Aughrim to face Wicklow in the Leinster SFC 1st round after missing a large chunk of the League with injury. Two members of this year's highly-rated Under 21 team, Pádraig McCormack and Robbie Smyth, are in Glenn Ryan's starting XV.

LONGFORD (SF v Wicklow): D Sheridan; D Brady, B Gilleran, D Reilly; C Smyth, M Quinn, S Mulligan; J Keegan, M Brady; B McElvaney, P Barden, P McCormack; R Smyth, F McGee, S McCormack.