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Life at the Laois helm no bed of roses for frustrated Fennelly

LAOIS manager Brendan Fennelly has admitted his frustration after the first six months of his stint in charge of the county's hurlers.

Ballyhale Shamrocks clubman Fennelly believes his charges haven't done themselves justice in either their league or championship campaigns so far and with Cork visiting Portlaoise tomorrow afternoon, their interest in the 2011 season is not expected to continue.

Laois finished third in Division 2 for the second successive year and were beaten at home by 14-man Antrim in the Leinster championship last month.

"It has been frustrating really," he said. "You're working off a small pool of clubs and a small pool of players.

"You have some players who won't make themselves available and others who come in for a year and then are out the next year.

"Others have dropped off the panel during the league because they are not getting a game. It's difficult.

"You don't have that in the bigger counties."

Fennelly hasn't spoken to Laois about the possibility of staying on for a second season and he has yet to make a decision on whether he will seek another term, but he insists the midlanders have the talent to make waves.

"They are well able to hurl. They proved that by beating Clare in the league, but then they also lost to Down. They have players there who have been doing it for a long time," he said.

"If you had everyone available, I believe they could take a good run at Division 2."

Fennelly, who guided Carrickshock to the Kilkenny county final last year, agreed that Cork were the team that everyone wanted to avoid in the qualifier draw.

"When you looked at the draw at the start of the year, you knew either Tipperary or Cork were going to be in the back door and that they were going to be by far the strongest team in it," he said.

"But we're in the back door and we have to deal with it. We'll have to lift our work rate against Cork to get close to them."

Irish Independent