Home Sport GAA Ballylinan forward Walsh cut from Laois senior football panel

Ballylinan forward Walsh cut from Laois senior football panel

Gary Walsh

At one stage in 2018, Ballylinan forward Gary Walsh was the highest scorer in the country – but he will not feature for Laois in 2019.

Boss John Sugrue has confirmed to LaoisToday that Walsh has been cut from his panel for the coming year.

It brings to an end a tumultuous year for the Ballylinan man that was packed with highs and lows.

It began with the full forward in scintillating form as Laois breezed through Division 4 of the league – winning all of their games.

Walsh scored a total of 4-41 in that period and was the leading scorer in the country heading into the final against Carlow in Croke Park.

However, just a couple of days before that game, Walsh posted a Tweet about the infamous Belfast Rape Trial which caused social media outrage.

Laois GAA distanced themselves from the Tweet and Walsh was eventually suspended by the management team for the final which Laois went on to win.

Walsh returned to the starting team for the opening round of the Leinster championship against Wexford. However, with Laois ten points down at half time, he was replaced by Benny Carroll and failed to regain his starting spot after that.

The Ballylinan man started last week in the heavy defeat to Meath in the first round of the O’Byrne Cup but that will be his final involvement in a Laois jersey for the foreseeable future.

Manager John Sugrue explained his decision.

He said: “We are cutting the panel a lot now at the moment and it is very difficult to make it.

“Lads are really pushing on in training and we have brought in a number of younger fellas who have shown a real hunger and desire.

“Gary has given great service to Laois but some lads struggle to adjust to a change in style and different tactics.

“We can see a pattern developing in training where lads are not missing nights at the gym, lads are pushing one another to be first in the running sessions and it is really positive to see.

“We have to pick the lads who we feel have the best single-mindedness and hunger to play for Laois.”

Walsh’s omission follows the news that Emo’s Darren Strong has decided to retire.

SEE ALSO – Long-serving Laois footballer announces retirement ahead of 2019 season

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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.