The Laois football team to take on Meath in the opening round of the 2019 O’Byrne Cup has been named.
Laois take on Meath this Saturday at 6pm in O’Moore Park and manager John Sugrue has named a side that includes a number of new faces, some returning ones and eight players who saw action in last year’s championship.
John O’Loughlin, Mark Timmons, Damien O’Connor, Stephen Attride, David Conway, Gary Walsh, Eoin Lowry and Paul Kingston who all played in the 2018 championship run to the Leinster final and Round 4 of the All Ireland qualifiers are all included.
It will be Attride’s first appearance in a Laois jersey since he fractured his skull in the dying minutes of the Leinster semi-final win over Carlow.
Portarlington’s Robbie Piggot, who played during the league but spent the summer in America, is included at wing-back while there are also starts for Denis Booth, Brian Daly and Marty Scully who have featured under previous managements.
There are debuts for goalkeeper Scott Osbourne from Portarlington, St Joseph’s Adam Campion at corner-back and Portarlington’s Sean Byrne at wing-forward. Byrne captained Laois to a Leinster minor final appearance in 2016.
Over 50 players are currently in training with Laois and that’s without any players from Courtwood or Portlaoise who were only knocked out of the Leinster intermediate and senior club championships respectively in recent weeks.
Following the Meath game on Saturday, Laois are away to Wexford the following Saturday, December 15, and then away to Wicklow in early January.
The starting team in full is: Scott Osbourne (Portarlington); Adam Campion (St Joseph’s), Denis Booth (The Heath), Damien O’Connor (Timahoe); Stephen Attride (Killeshin), Mark Timmons (Graiguecullen), Robbie Piggot (Portarlington), John O’Loughlin (St Brigid’s, Dublin), Brian Daly (St Joseph’s); Marty Scully (Ballyroan-Abbey), David Conway (Arles-Kilcruise), Sean Byrne (Portarlington); Eoin Lowry (Killeshin), Gary Walsh (Ballylinan), Paul Kingston (Arles-Killeen).