Wednesday 21 February 2018

Laois: 7 managers since 2000...

2000: Tom Cribbin was in his second year at the turn of the Millennium, having done well in 1999 when Laois were unlucky not to beat Dublin in the Leinster semi-final.

In 2000 they were fancied to make solid progress but lost to Westmeath in the Leinster quarter-final. It ended Cribbin's stint in what was the last season before the introduction of the qualifiers.


Colm Browne returned for his second term as manager, having previously been in charge in the mid-'90s. It wasn't a successful period and Browne's term ended after a heavy defeat by Meath in the 2002 qualifiers, having lost to Offaly in the Leinster quarter-final.


Laois enjoyed their best period since the 1940s under Mick O'Dwyer, winning the Leinster title for the first time in 57 years while also reaching two other finals, losing one to Westmeath after a replay and the other to Dublin. Laois qualified for the All-Ireland quarter-finals in 2003, '05 and '06, and reached the Division 1 NFL final in 2003.


Liam Kearns, who had done well with Limerick, presided for two years. Laois lost the 2007 Leinster final to Dublin. Defeats by Wexford in Leinster and by Down in the qualifiers in 2008 ended Kearns' reign.


Laois shopped local and appointed Seán Dempsey, who had impressed with underage teams. The success was not replicated at senior level and his term ended after two seasons, with Laois having won only one of six championship games.


Armagh's Justin McNulty steered Laois into Division 1 in his first season but relegation followed a year later. Laois did poorly in Leinster in his three years but reached the 2012 All-Ireland quarter-finals, via four qualifier wins. They won three qualifiers this year.


Tomás ó Flatharta becomes the third Kerryman in a decade to take charge. He previously managed Westmeath (after being involved as squad trainer in the Páidí ó Sé era) for four seasons (2006-09) and Galway for one term (2011).

Irish Independent

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