Tuesday 23 January 2018

Laois likely to shop local for new hurling boss

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Laois are in no hurry to replace Brendan Fennelly, who became the fourth high-profile hurling manager to step down in the last two weeks.

Following on from the exits of Offaly's Joe Dooley, Wexford's Colm Bonnar and Clare's Ger O'Loughlin, Fennelly has left Laois after just one year in charge. The Kilkenny native saw his team concede 10 goals to Cork in their qualifier in June and was critical of the lack of commitment from some of his players. His replacement is likely to come from within the county, if the soundings taken from a hurling forum last week are a useful gauge.

The forum, chaired by Munster Council chief Pat Fitzgerald, brought together a number of past players and those with an interest in the development of the game in Laois. The mood of that meeting, which Fennelly attended and spoke at, was that an insider might be best suited to take Laois forward.

Former defender John O'Sullivan has been mentioned as a possible successor, while Pat Critchley may also be in the frame.

Elsewhere, Limerick football boss Maurice Horan is sweating on the fitness of his goalkeeper Brian Scanlon for Saturday's All-Ireland qualifier against Waterford.

Scanlon suffered a knee injury in the Round 2 qualifier win over Offaly. Horan is already planning without dual stars Stephen Lucey and Mark O'Riordan, while corner-forward Mike Sheehan is doubtful with an ankle injury.

Irish Independent

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