Ballyfin have opted to appoint two of their own club men to take charge of their senior football team for the 2018 season.
Former player Jason Horan will be joined by Stephen Duff as they bid to build on their 2017 championship showing.
Ballyfin stunned champions Stradbally in Round 2 of last year’s championship before bowing out to St Joseph’s.
And while they lost manager Donnacha Phelan after last season’s campaign as he was appointed Laois minor manager, they have ended their search by going for Horan and Duff to oversee them this year.
Horan played championship football for Laois at minor and U-21 level and was involved with the senior set-up for a while under Sean Dempsey’s management. He was also on their teams that won the junior title in 2010 and intermediate in 2014.
Duff has also played with the club as well as being heavily involved in the Ballyfin Ladies football set-up in recent years. He is also part of Phelan’s backroom team for this year’s Laois minor management.
Ballyfin, who will once again be a ‘Gaels’ team for the championship as they can avail of players from Camross and Slieve Bloom, will play in Division 2 of the league.
They will also hold the distinction of being the only dual senior club in the county. Their promotion from the SHC ‘A’ grade last year and Portlaoise’s relegation from senior means that they will play at the top grade in both codes in 2018.
They have appointed Mark Tyrell as manager of their senior hurling team – who will play in the championship alongside Mountmellick as a Gaels team – and Tyrell is expected to have his brother Jackie, the former Kilkenny hurler, involved in some capacity.
Fintan Deegan, who guided Ballyfin to SHC ‘A’ glory last year, has taken on the job of managing his home club The Harps.