Uncertainty over Kingston's 2018 Laois involvement
Donie Kingston will not be available to the Laois football team for the earlier part of the season and could miss all of 2018, it has emerged.
New Laois manager John Sugrue has revealed Kingston will miss the county's Allianz NFL Division 4 campaign as he takes time out and will be playing basketball for the winter instead.
Sugrue, who takes over from Peter Creedon, has said the "door will be open" after that for the talented 27-year-old. Kingston is the county's most prolific forward and, on his day, one of the best in Leinster.
Laois will, however, have Brendan Quigley and Ross Munnelly available again for another season as both have committed. Munnelly has been part of the Laois squad since the 2003 campaign when Laois won their last Leinster senior title.
Meanwhile, veteran Clare football goalkeeper Joe Hayes has decided to call time on his lengthy career because of ongoing hip problems.
Hayes, who was part of the squad briefly in 2002 but has been ever-present since 2005, was acting on the back of medical advice. The 35-year-old, who has had previous hip/groin problems, underwent surgery three years ago to prolong his career. But this time the message was final.
The Lissycasey man has enjoyed the fruits of a Banner resurgence under manager Colm Collins in recent years with promotion from Division 4 to Division 2, where they remain for 2018 and an All-Ireland quarter-final appearance against Kerry in 2016.
Tipperary have welcomed back Stephen O'Brien after he was released from the hurling squad, while John Meagher is also headed in the same direction and Seán Carey returns after a spell in Australia.
Manager Liam Kearns has added seven new faces to his squad, with Shane Leahy returning after missing 2017 and Brendan Martin and Jody Sheeran also on board.
"We took in 17 new players last year, this year there are only seven so we are more stable," said Kearns, who has lost Alan Moloney and Martin Dunne to retirement.
Roscommon manager Kevin McStay is the latest to predict "conflict of interest" over April being set aside for club activity.
"In Connacht, Mayo are playing Galway on May 13 and, if anyone thinks that the Mayo and Galway teams will not be training in April, then they are suffering from serious delusions," he told the Roscommon People.
"The situation looks chaotic to me as it stands. If Roscommon want to prepare properly to beat the likes of Galway or Mayo then we have to be looking making preparations in April."