Tuesday 11 December 2018

Sugrue has brought 'cohesion' to Laois

John OLoughlin. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
John OLoughlin. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

John Sugrue commands a "mutual respect" and is bringing cohesion to the Laois football effort, one of their most experienced players, John O'Loughlin has revealed.

After years of managerial uncertainty in the county for different reasons Sugrue can bring the stability that Laois need.

And an Allianz Division 4 title, that yielded seven wins from seven games and the first silverware for the vast majority of their players, has left them in a good position.

"If you ask a lot of people about Laois the last few years they would say Laois probably didn't play as a team but this year there is a bit of cohesion and teamwork and we're, hopefully, beginning to see the results of that. In the last three league games we were put to the pin of our collar. In previous years we probably wouldn't have won those or all three of them but we did this year.

"But we have greater challenges ahead to overcome," said O'Loughlin, acknowledging how a championship run is their main priority. "Division 4 is not ideally where we wanted to be, but we were there and deservedly so. We rectified that straight away which was satisfying. Gaelic games is all about championship. It was very important for us to get promotion but in a month's time, no-one will remember the league."

O'Loughlin is a now a schoolteacher but spent years working as a Games Promotion Officer with the St Brigid's club in Dublin and is well placed to understand the power in Dublin football right now.

"Dublin GAA is a powerhouse, it's a phenomenon. It's professional, near a Premier League organisation in an amateur association. It's great to say you're watching them and they're a huge team, phenomenal. But I think Dublin GAA have it in a lot of ways that other counties probably don't have it."

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