Home Sport GAA A player-by-player guide to the Laois minor hurlers as they begin Leinster...

A player-by-player guide to the Laois minor hurlers as they begin Leinster hurling campaign

The Laois minor hurling team has been named
The Laois minor hurling team has been named

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The Laois minor hurlers begin their Leinster championship campaign on Saturday.

Enda Lyons’ men will face Wexford in Innovate Wexford Park at 4.30pm and LaoisToday will be there to bring you all the action as it happens.

But ahead of that, here is what we know about the members of the panel who all will certainly see action over the next two months.

GOALKEEPERS

Lorcan Fitzpatrick – The Harps

The current number 1 who made a string of saves in a recent challenge match with Clare. Can expect to be similarly busy on Saturday.

Darragh Lyons – Ballyfin

Son of manager Enda and will most likely fill the substitute goalkeeper jersey. Very tall like his older brother Eanna and has a monster puck-out. Eligible again next year.

Conor Breen – Castletown-Slieve Bloom

A capable keeper too but currently behind the two above. With at least four matches to play though, this could change.

DEFENDERS

Ben Shore – Castletown-Slieve Bloom

This stylish corner back will start against Wexford on Saturday and he is a lovely left sided player.

Bryan Bredin – Mountrath

A combative player who can operate comfortably on any part of the full back line. Not starting on Saturday but may well be used.

Killian Kirwan – Mountrath

A tigerish corner back who will not give his man an inch. Very quick and will need to be at his best on Saturday in defence.

Rossa Duffy – Rosenallis

Played a lot of his club hurling at full forward but has been used as a back for the minors. Not starting but is a physical player who may be needed.

Conor Cosgrove – Rosenallis

The captain of the team and one of the most impressive hurlers to come out of Rosenallis is recent times. A very physical centre back who is capable of taking a score if given the opportunity.

Niall Carey – Portlaoise

The first of two dual players on the team. Carey lined out at wing back for the minor footballers on Monday in their win over Longford. A brilliant athlete with a real engine.

Oisin Murray – Clonaslee-St Manman’s

Oisin was in with the minor footballers for a while before throwing his lot in solely with the hurlers. He missed a while through illness but is back now and in contention.

Thep Fitzpatrick – Rathdowney-Errill

A key member of the St Fergal’s Rathdowney team who reached the All-Ireland final and will surely be as big a figure here.

Dan Moore – Camross

One of only two Camross lads on the panel. Moore is a capable wing back who is very good on the ball.

Gearoid O’Neill – Trumera

The Trumera man has played well in all of the challenge games and is perhaps a bit unlucky not to make the starting team. A strong corner back who will be ready if called upon.

Danny Brennan – Park-Ratheniska

Eligible again next year but this Park-Ratheniska man will line out at full back. Plays his football with Ballyroan-Abbey and is very physical despite being a year younger than most of his opponents.

Keelin Kelly – Borris-Kilcotton

Part of the St Fergal’s team also but missed most of the year after sustaining a nasty concussion playing rugby. Is back to full fitness now though and will take his place at wing back on Saturday.

Billy McEvoy – The Harps

A wing back by trade and is very quick and can strike comfortably off either side.

MIDFIELDERS

Fionan O’Mahony – Abbeyleix

Despite being eligible again next year, this young Abbeyleix man will be midfield. He is a really clevel hurler who uses the ball well and works incredibly hard.

Fionn Holland – Clonad

A very good footballer who plays with The Heath, Holland is also a smashing hurler who will be in midfield alongside O’Mahony.

Kevin Mulhall – Clough-Ballacolla

Operated at midfield for much of St Fergal’s run to the All-Ireland final and is perhaps unfortunate not to get the nod here. Will be a big asset though if given the chance.

Shane Farrell – Rosenallis

An absolute workhorse. Farrell has played well in many of the challenge matches and if introduced on Saturday, he will bring bundles of energy.

Eoin Naughton – Portlaoise

Eligible again next year but like Farrell above, works extremely hard every time he is on the pitch.

FORWARDS

Conor Walsh – Castletown-Slieve Bloom

Can play in defence or attack and will work willingly wherever he is asked. Doesn’t start on Saturday but will surely see game time over the course of the competition

Tadgh Cuddy – Castletown-Slieve Bloom

One of the youngest members of the panel who won’t turn 16 until December. Starts at wing forward and is capable of getting a score if presented with the opportunity.

Gearoid Williams – Mountrath

Can operate at half back but played most of the challenge matches. A physical hurler too.

Mark Hennessy – Clough-Ballacolla

A key member of the St Fergal’s team and can be a key scorer for this team too as he starts at corner forward.

Evan Hawkes – Clough-Ballacolla

Was absolutely brilliant for St Fergal’s and it is somewhat surprising to see him not in the starting 15 for Saturday. Will surely see some game time though and hopefully he can show what he can do.

DJ Callaghan – Clonaslee-St Manman’s

Another of the players who are under age again next year. DJ was also in with the minor footballers for a period but is now solely with the hurlers and while he doesn’t start, his pace may well be needed in the latter stages of the game.

Allan Connolly – Ballyfin

Centre forward and an incredible athlete. Playing rugby with Leinster too and that may well be where his future lies, but for now he is managing to do both.

Ciaran Byrne – Abbeyleix

The second dual star on the team and will start at wing forward having played corner back for the minor footballers on Monday. An equally as good a hurler as he is a footballer.

Cillian Maher – Rathdowney-Errill

Injury rules this St Fergal’s man out of action for the moment. He picked up a hand injury before the All-Ireland final some months ago and is still on the road to recovery – a loss.

Niall Bennett – Camross

Younger brother of LaoisToday Snapchat sensation Oisin. Like his brother, Niall is also a forward well capable of scoring.

Adam Kirwan – Trumera

This young Trumera man is eligible again next year. A brilliant free-taker and hopefully he will nail whatever chances he gets on Saturday.

Dylan Cuddy – Shanahoe

A speedy wing forward who is Shanahoe’s only representative on the panel. Well capable of taking a score too.

Cathal Shaughnessy – Ballinakill

Eligible again next year and will start the game at full forward. Incredibly quick and powerful and can score from varying distances and angles. Always good for a goal too.

SEE ALSO – A player-by-player guide to the Laois minor footballers