New Laois boss must plan without Attride
Incoming Laois football boss Mike Quirke has been dealt a significant blow with the news that captain for the last three years, Stephen Attride, is set to miss the 2020 campaign.
The versatile defender, who was chosen as skipper by both Peter Creedon and John Sugrue, is set to go travelling in Australia, meaning he will miss out for the first time since making his debut in 2013.
Attride delayed the decision until after he had lined out for Killeshin in the Laois SFC final, which they lost against Portlaoise by a point.
He will take a career break from his teaching job in Knockbeg College to go travelling Down Under.
It's a setback for Quirke, who will look to build on the positive foundations laid by fellow Kerryman Sugrue, who earned successive promotions and also steered the county to a first Leinster final appearance in 11 years during his time in charge.
Laois are set to operate in Division Two next year.
They will need to secure their status if they are to compete for the Sam Maguire cup after a new second-tier competition was introduced at Special Congress last month.