Cooney now hopeful on Heslin
John Heslin may be available to Westmeath in 2019 after new manager Jack Cooney indicated that the classy sharpshooter may now be in a position to return once he completes his PhD.
Only last week Cooney appeared to rule out the St Loman's clubman as he focused on his studies, but after speaking to local reporters in the wake of their opening win of the season, in the O'Byrne Cup over Carlow, there was optimism that the key player could yet play a part at some stage during the season.
Heslin is due to complete his PhD in mid-January, Cooney indicated, and may come back into the frame after that.
John Connellan is also unlikely to be available to the new manager in 2019 because of personal commitments while younger brother Ray has opted to return to Australia to try to relaunch his AFL career with Essendon on a 12-month contract.
Ray Connellan had previously spent two years on the books of St Kilda but he came back home after he was released in the summer.