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Laois concern at drain of players to Dublin

LAOIS GAA's top official has expressed concern over the trend which has seen several leading Laois players switching their club allegiance to Dublin.

Brian Allen was responding to reports that former Aussie Rules star Colm Begley is set to seek a club transfer from his native Stradbally to ambitious northside outfit Parnells.

If the move materialises over the coming weeks, Begley would become the third Laois player to join Parnells, following the lead of Darren Rooney and Colm Parkinson who made the switch last year.

"We believe he has applied to join Parnells - that (application) would go to Leinster Council," Allen revealed. "We would be a bit worried about the trend, but with guys living in Dublin there is not much we can do about it."

Begley returned home from Australia at the end of last season, having spent four years in the AFL - first with the Brisbane Lions and then with St Kilda. He duly played for Stradbally in the Laois Division One league final replay before Christmas. He has now rejoined the Laois panel under manager Seán Dempsey and his proposed switch is only at club level, not county.

A Stradbally official, contacted last night, said they had received no correspondence but they have heard the rumours. Begley himself could not be contacted, but he has indicated elsewhere that he'll be making a statement about his future tomorrow.


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