Home Sport GAA Double blow for Sugrue as two players head to the USA

Double blow for Sugrue as two players head to the USA

Laois manager John Sugrue confirmed the news - Photo Paul Dargan

Laois manager John Sugrue has confirmed that two members of his panel have departed and are set to spend the summer in America.

Portarlington duo Colm Murphy and Robbie Pigott are no longer part of the squad and are reportedly heading to Boston shortly.

The loss of Pigott will be felt by Laois as he really established himself in the two league games against Carlow.

Operating at wing back, he stifled Carlow’s Brendan Murphy in the final in Croke Park, a player who has also decided to spend the summer across the Atlantic.

Speaking to LaoisToday after last night’s challenge match against, manager Sugrue confirmed that both players had left.

He said: “The two boys are more than likely going to America at this stage.

“It is disappointing but we have a big enough panel to be able to soak it up.

“They are young fellas, you have to give them their own bit of space and hopefully they will come back with a good, fresh attitude towards it next year.

“Laois need to harvest out of the likes of them next year.”

And in their place, the manager has added three new players to his panel.

There are first call ups for St Joseph’s forward Michael Keogh and O’Dempsey’s keeper Podge Bannon.

While O’Dempsey’s midfielder Rory Bracken, who was part of the Laois set up under Justin McNulty, has also been drafted in.

Sugrue said: “The boys thankfully came in and they will add a little bit of impetus to the whole thing.

“They are fellas who are showing a bit of form in club games and we asked a few fellas but the lads were good and came in.

“Podge Bannon is also in and he will add a small bit to the goalkeeping

Laois lost the game by six points but Sugrue feels it was a good learning curve for his squad ahead of the first round match against Wexford on May 12.

He said: “Meath are playing at a higher level than what we have played this year.

“And to be fair, we gave lots of fellas a run here. It was a good workout overall.

“It gives guys an indication of where they need to get to. Some of the fellas who got the chance to go in there got to see if they could survive the heat.

“So now it is time to look at everyone again afresh and this was the start of that.”

SEE ALSO – Experimental Laois footballers go down to Meath in Graiguecullen

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.