Home We Are Laois Best of 2017 – REVEALED: New Laois football manager’s backroom team

Best of 2017 – REVEALED: New Laois football manager’s backroom team

Laois will take on Limerick in their first league outing

In September, it was revealed by LaoisToday that John Surgue would be taking the reigns as Laois Senior Football manager. 

Alan Hartnett followed up on this three weeks later by revealing the members of Kerry man’s backroom team. 


More than three weeks after we broke the news that John Sugrue would be the new Laois football manager, LaoisToday can now reveal the members of his backroom team.

We understand the Kerry native and his backroom team were ratified at a meeting of the Laois County Board Executive last night.

This new management team will now be brought forward to Monday night’s rescheduled Laois County Board meeting where the clubs will be asked to formally ratify them to take charge for the 2018 season.

Sugrue, who works in Portlaoise in the Laois Physiotherapy Clinic that he founded in 2011 and is married with a young family in Laois, had been linked with the role a number of times in the past.

He worked as a physio under Justin McNulty in 2013 but also became involved in the coaching of the team from the midpoint of that year.

In the aftermath of the Armagh man’s departure, it was widely believed that the players favoured John Sugrue to replace him.

And the Kerry man was linked with the role last year after Mick Lillis stepped down when it was reported that a delegation of players met with the County Board and requested he get the job.

But now he has it and we can reveal that he will be joined by fellow Kerry man Jerome Stack, Ballyroan-Abbey’s Eoin Kearns and Park-Ratheniska’s Brendan Delaney.

It is understood that Kearns and Delaney will act as selectors while Stack will assume the role of football coach.

Sugrue has also brought Dubliner Robbie Cannon in as his Strength and Conditioning coach.

While MDC Physiotherapy, under the guidance of Sean Gaffney, are continuing as the physios with the Laois footballers

Here, we take a more detailed look at the men who will be tasked with improving the fortunes of the Laois footballers over the next 12 months:

Jerome Stack

Jerome Stack
Jerome Stack

Jerome Stack will be familiar to Laois fans having previously been involved with the O’Moore County with Tomás Ó Flatharta.

He spent 2014 and 2015 working with his fellow Kerry native and will now be back for another crack after two years away.

Stack comes with an impressive coaching CV.

He guided Dromcollogher-Broadford to Limerick SFC glory in 2012 before linking up with Laois in 2014 and 2015.

He then spent 2016 as a coach with the Limerick footballers.

This year, Stack was appointed as a coach with former Laois boss Liam Kearns with Tipperary.

However, he stepped down from the role in late January citing ‘personal reasons’.

Eoin Kearns

Eoin Kearns
Eoin Kearns

Eoin Kearns is only 33 but has already one year as a senior club manager under his belt.

The Ballyroan-Abbey native was in charge of Arles-Killeen this year where he led his side to the quarter finals.

They took on Portarlington for a third time on Saturday evening but they went down by 3-10 to 0-13 in the end.

Kearns also spent some years working with underage squads in Laois and has a good knowledge of the local scene.

As a player, Kearns was full back on the Ballyroan-Abbey Gaels team which won the senior championship in 2006.

He has played less frequently in recent years but was part of the Ballyroan-Abbey team which won the ACFL Division 4 title earlier this year.

Brendan Delaney


Brendan Delaney
Brendan Delaney

Park-Ratheniska man Brendan Delaney is somebody with whom manager John Sugrue is very familiar.

Delaney was in charge of Park-Ratheniska when they won the Laois JFC and Leinster JFC in 2006.

His sons, Mark and Kieran, have been stalwarts for the club for the last decade.

Indeed, Delaney and Sugrue teamed up in recent years to manage Park-Ratheniska.

Robbie Cannon

Robbie Cannon

Dubliner Robbie Cannon will be the least known member of Sugrue’s team for members of the Laois public.

He is Director of Cannon Performance and has almost twenty years of experience at the top level of amateur golf.

Robbie was the Irish Amateur Open Champion in 2013 and South of Ireland champion in 2009.

He is a qualified Strength and Conditioning coach with a degree in S and C from Setanta College.

He is also a level 3 TPI Certified Golf Fitness Professional.

With a huge interest in all sports, Robbie played soccer and Gaelic football from a young age and in the last few years became a keen sprinter and won a bronze in the 2013 Leinster Indoors at 200 metres.

Robbie specialises working with golfers of all levels and has PGA Tour, European Tour, Elite Amateurs and club golfers all part of his stable.

Certainly an interesting appointment.

MDC Physiotherapy

Sean Gaffney MCD Physiotherapy

MDC Physiotherapy have been involved with the Laois footballers since 2015.

Mark Cornish, who is the owner, was head physio under Mick Lillis, with Sean Gaffney that works for the clinic helping out as the second physio.

When Cornish moved away to work with Swansea City before last season Sean stayed on as head physio under Peter Creedon.

Gaffney met Sugrue recently and has agreed to stay on as head physio.

Sean Gaffney obtained his BSc. (Hons) Degree in Physiotherapy from the University of Bradford in England and graduated in 2011.

Out of the clinic, Sean is a keen GAA man. As a native of Cavan, he was privileged to be a member of the Cavan Senior Football panel in 2012 and had the honour of captaining his club Kill Shamrocks to Junior Championship success in 2013.

SEE ALSO – Laois footballers AWAY to Wexford in 2018 championship

Previous articleBest of 2017 – This Laois Hen Party with their brilliant theme and costumes
Next articleStory behind the photos 2017: Ossory Show