Offaly's Dooley and O'Connor set to pursue dual dream
Offaly are the latest county to pursue a dual mandate with both Shane Dooley and Joey O'Connor set to attempt to combine playing hurling and football this season.
Both men were named in Pat Flanagan's 35-strong panel for the upcoming National League and it's expected that they will also be part of Eamonn Kelly's hurling squad.
Dooley has long been established as the Faithful hurlers' main score-getter but he looks set for a sustained stint with the footballers having briefly tried to combine the two codes a couple of seasons ago.
O'Connor heads in the other direction. He put in a solid shift for the footballers in 2015 but has caught Kelly's eye in the Walsh Cup this year.
Injured captain Paul McConway and Rhode duo Paul McPadden and Padraic Sullivan are amongst those who won't be involved with the Offaly football panel this year.
The decision comes at a time when the likes of Cork and Wexford have made moves away from the idea of accommodating dual players.
Meanwhile, Wexford's preparations for the NHL have been rocked by the news that star forward Conor McDonald has been ruled out of the opening two games.
The Naomh Eanna attacker has picked up a broken thumb that rules him out of contention for up to six weeks, resulting in his missing the opening game away to Limerick on February 13, while he will also be unavailable for the second round game with Clare in Innovate Wexford Park one week later.
Elsewhere, Laois football manager Mick Lillis will have to plan without Brendan Quigley for their Division 2 opener against Galway on Sunday. Quigley will miss the game through suspension after being sent off in the Midlanders' shock Qualifier defeat to Antrim last summer.
However, they will be able to call on the last link to the 2003 Leinster-winning side - Ross Munnelly.