Monday 18 December 2017

Ryan quits Faithful footballers to focus on hurling

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

OFFALY footballer Sean Ryan has decided to throw in his lot with the county hurlers this season.

New county hurling boss Ollie Baker has named the Birr man among his starters for Sunday's Bord na Mona Walsh Cup quarter-final against Westmeath, with St Rynagh's wing-back Diarmuid Horan recalled after a two-year absence.

Ryan's switch of code is the opposite to the move made by Daniel Currams, who has left the hurlers to concentrate on football this season.

Sunday's side includes one senior debutant in Killurin's Duane Dunne at wing-forward and Peter Healion starts at full-back as David Kenny is college-tied.

Elsewhere, new Laois hurling manager Teddy McCarthy has revealed that he has approached Zane Keenan about joining his panel.

Injuries and an unwillingness to commit have restricted the talented Camross player to a bit-part role in recent years.

"I've never seen him (Keenan) play, but the general opinion of everybody in Laois is that he has talent," McCarthy said.

"We have approached him, he wants a bit of time to think about I, but the bottom line is that my selectors and myself want the best players playing for Laois.

"There are a couple of others -- John A Delaney and JJ McHugh -- who were playing with their clubs up into November. They want a break and we're willing to give them that, but we'll be approaching those two lads as well."

McCarthy said he believes that dual star Cahir Healy is also interested in doubling up for Laois this year, but the Portlaoise player is only involved with the county footballers at present.

Laois begin competitive life under former Cork dual star McCarthy with a home Walsh Cup clash against DIT at Rathdowney on Sunday.

Their last game was a 10-goal mauling from Cork in the All-Ireland qualifiers last summer.

But McCarthy said: "I don't think that Laois hurling is at that level and all I want is an honest bunch of guys that want to wear the jersey with pride again and be competitive in every game we play. Anything else is a bonus."

Meanwhile, Tipperary's hurlers are swapping their traditional blue and gold jerseys for pink shirts in a match that will pit them against former All-Ireland winning manager Liam Sheedy.

They play a challenge game against a Munster team coached by Sheedy, in Nenagh, on this day week, in aid of breast cancer research.

Irish Independent

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