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Laois ace Quigley makes capital switch

YET another high-profile Laois footballer is transferring his club allegiance to Dublin.

Brendan Quigley is the latest O'Moore star to make the move, transferring from his native Timahoe to Swords club Fingallians in a move which is sure to resurrect debate locally about the number of big-name players who have defected to the capital in the past 16 months.

This time last year two Laois senior stars -- Colm Begley and MJ Tierney -- both transferred to Dublin club Parnells, the same club that had already signed up county dual star Darren Rooney and recently returned county senior Colm Parkinson.

Moving clubs does not necessarily affect their county allegiance and they have all remained loyal to Laois. But this time last year this cluster of moves prompted Laois secretary Niall Handy to express publicly his discontent about the trend, even though he accepted that players are entitled to move for employment purposes.

"Four players in the space of a year have decided to move, which is a huge concern for us," Handy said. "Our clubs have lost some of their best players, while for the Laois championships it's not good that some of the biggest players won't be involved."

Asked yesterday about Quigley's imminent move, Handy said he had received "no transfer request for such a move", but when asked for his reaction if it does go ahead, he said: "Naturally, I would be disappointed."

Work and study have resulted in Laois losing a number of players to emigration already this year, and Handy accepted that there are very few employment prospects in Laois right now, which is contributing to their losses.

Quigley will certainly be a huge loss to Timahoe. He was part of the Laois team that won an All-Ireland minor title in 2003 and won two successive Leinster U-21 titles in 2006 and 2007.

In the interim he also trialled for Aussie Rules team Brisbane Lions, but decided it was not for him.

Timahoe contested the 2008 county senior final and Quigley was also a key figure in helping them win the county intermediate title last year. They went on to reach the semi-finals of the AIB Leinster Intermediate club Championship, which they lost to eventual champions Ballymore Eustace of Kildare, noticeably without Quigley, who was suspended.

Padraig Clancy and Quigley are Timahoe's two pivotal county seniors stars, so his loss will be heavily felt locally, especially in a year in which the club have just returned to the senior ranks.

But the Irish Independent understands that his club will not block his transfer request to Fingallians in Swords, who include Paul Flynn of the Dublin seniors in their ranks.

Irish Independent