Brought to you in association with Hanlon Woodcraft
Laois defender Matthew Whelan has heralded teammate Seán Downey for putting in an incredible performance against Carlow on Sunday.
The Ballinakill teenager was voted the GAA Player of the Week on Tuesday for his performance last weekend following a public vote.
Speaking to LaoisToday, Matthew Whelan said that although Downey only joined the panel this year, he fit straight in and stood up when it really counted.
He said: “It was an incredible run in fairness. He probably ran 60 yards through different lads and he weaved his own way through.
“He still somehow found the energy to swing the hurl at it then in the end and stick it in the net.
“Seán’s a new lad in this year but he stood up there in that case when it really mattered.”
Looking back at the Carlow game, although Laois trailed for much of it and had a numerical disadvantage, Whelan says they never panicked.
He said: “It probably took us until half time to settle down really because with Ross going off, he was a big loss, and we were all over the place.
“But we were confident enough only going in down two points at half time and we knew there was going to be a lot of hurling to do in the second half.
“There was a bit of a wind which we knew would help the forwards to so we just stuck at it.”
Laois had conceded big scores in games this year but Whelan felt his fellow defenders really stepped up to the plate on Sunday.
He said: “We concentrated on going man to man and it worked I suppose.
“It’s championship and sometimes you can’t hide behind systems, you just have to go for it and that’s what we did. It was a low scoring game and we will take the credit for that.”
The Borris-Kilcotton man has played most of this year at wing back but, following injury to Cha Dwyer, Whelan found himself back at centre back where he has played the majority of his career.
With Dwyer likely to be out for this weekend’s game against Dublin, it looks like Whelan will remain at centre back and he says that is where he prefers to be.
He said: “I’ve played most of my career in the centre but look, once you are out on the field, you are happy.
“I don’t really wonder about where I am, once I’m playing I’m happy and that’s the main thing.”