The Laois senior hurlers are making their Joe McDonagh cup debut against Westmeath this Saturday.
While Laois and Westmeath are no strangers to each other, there will be one particular Laois face lining out for the opposition.
Mountrath man Paddy Carroll has been Westmeath’s first choice goalkeeper ever since he made his debut for the Lake County against then All-Ireland champions Tipperary in July of last year.
He featured throughout this year’s Allianz League campaign with Westmeath and was in goals when they were beaten by Carlow in the Division 2A final in March.
Paddy moved to Westmeath three years ago where he is married and works as a primary school teacher.
We spoke to Paddy’s cousin and chairman of Mountrath GAA, John Carroll. “He’s flying it there so he is. He’s getting games and playing well,” said John.
“He’s always played in goals. From underage to right up along, it always looked like he was going to be a goalie,” he added.
Paddy now plays for St Brigid’s of Athlone, but began his county career on Laois underage teams all the way up along.
He also held featured for a while with the Laois senior panel and was on the Laois team that beat Kilkenny in a Walsh Cup Shield semi-final in 2010.
Paddy has seen his share of county finals too, and lined out at number one in the Senior ‘A’ county final in 2014, where Mountrath were beaten by Ballinakill 0-22 to 1-12.
He is now working as a primary school teacher and lives in Westmeath with his wife Olive and their daughter, Jane.