Recently-appointed manager Donnacha Phelan from Ballyfin – himself an All Ireland minor winner with Laois in 1997 and son of Ollie Phelan who was Laois minor manager from 1997 to 2000 – has contact all clubs in the county asking that players of the required standard attend trials this weekend.
“We are beginning a trial process to construct what will be the 2018 Laois Minor (U-17) Football Panel with a series of trials starting this Saturday, November 4, at 1pm in the Laois GAA Training Centre,” he said.
“In order to do that, I ask that the coaches/managers of each Club team for the 2017 season send forward those players who they believe may be of Inter County Standard, as I feel they are best placed to determine who these players may be.
“Please have your players in attendance in the Laois Training Centre for 12.45pm on Saturday, and include in this the players who are already on County Development Squads.”
Laois are currently playing in the U-16 Fr Manning Cup competition under the management of the Laois GAA coaching staff.
In 2017, there were two championships played at U-18 and U-17 with Laois only beaten by a point in the Leinster U-17 semi-final by Dublin.
Noel Delaney from Ballyroan was over both of those teams but won’t be involved in 2018.
Next year will also see the first championship played at U-20 level following the removal of the U-21 grade. Laois are currently looking for a manager for that team. The equivalent minor team reached the Leinster final in 2016 under Mark Rooney where they were beaten by Kildare and then by Galway in the All Ireland quarter-final.