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Kingston's Laois future up in air as exit rumours grow

Donie Kingston's future with Laois is once more shrouded in doubt amid speculation that he has left the squad.

Kingston is understood to have informed manager Justin McNulty early last week that he was withdrawing, only months after making his return.

He subsequently didn't travel with the squad for a four-day training camp in Fota Island outside Cork last week. The player is thought to be disappointed with the amount of game time he has had since coming back to the fold.

In the last three games against Westmeath, Galway and Longford he has only come off the bench as a substitute, but he was quite influential during his 40-plus minutes on the field against Longford.

If Kingston can't be persuaded back it will be the second defection the Laois football squad has suffered in a matter of weeks.

maximise

Cahir Healy left two weeks ago so that he could concentrate exclusively on hurling with the Laois team. Healy has subsequently admitted that hurling is his first love and he wanted to maximise his potential in the sport.

Kingston is a talented figure who did not play for Laois in last year's championship after withdrawing from the squad to travel to the USA.

His return at the beginning of this season, allied to Conor Meredith's commitment after his time spent in Australia came to an end, suggested Laois could build on their march to the All-Ireland quarter-finals last year, where they were beaten by Dublin.

Kingston first featured with Laois as a 17-year-old during Liam Kearns' second year in charge. Kearns described him as being one of the best talents at that age he had ever seen.

Laois play Wexford in Division 2 this weekend and must win and hope that Derry lose to Westmeath and Armagh beat Galway to retain an outside chance for promotion. Even then they must hope that, should they win and Derry lose, it's by a combined margin of more than 10 points to close the current score difference margin between them.

Irish Independent