Laois manager John Sugrue has announced the starting 15 to play in his side’s first home game of this year’s Allianz Football League.
Sugrue has made a massive eight changes to the side who suffered their first-ever league defeat under his helm last week for the game against Sligo on Sunday.
There are first league starts of the year for Colm Begley and Donie Kingston at wing-back and centre-forward respectively, a league debut for Mark Barry from O’Dempsey’s and Marty Scully from Ballyroan, a first start for Kevin Meaney in two years, for Paul Cahillane in three years and for Danny O’Reilly since last year’s league after he missed all of the championship because of a horror head injury following an assault in Carlow.
Evan O’Carroll also returns to the side after being left out last week and his busy schedule of games continues between his Laois commitments and his Sigerson Cup duties with UCD.
With Kieran Lillis suspended following a straight red card against Louth, Meaney is named to start in midfield, having not even featured among the match-day 26 prior to this.
Those to miss out from last week’s starting team are Adam Campion, Robbie Pigott, Lillis, Damien O’Connor, Sean Byrne, Ross Munnelly, Colm Murphy and Paul Kingston.
There are also a host of positional switches with captain Stephen Attride moving to centre-back, Gareth Dillon moving to corner-back and Conor Boyle switching to wing-forward.
Sligo have lost both of their opening games – away to Carlow in the opening round and then at home to Down last Sunday when a late goal earned the visitors a narrow win.
Their full-forward Pat Hughes, top scorer in the Down game, is suspended following a red card two minutes from the end of that dramatic clash. He sought a hearing during the week but his one-match ban was upheld and he’ll miss Sunday’s game.
Laois and Sligo last met two years ago in Division 3 in Markiewicz Park when Sligo won 0-18 to 2-10.
Sunday’s game throws in at 2pm in O’Moore Park with Laois entering the game as 2/7 favourites.
The other Division 3 games on this weekend are Down at home to Westmeath on Saturday night, Carlow at home to Longford and Offaly at home to Louth on Sunday.
LAOIS: Graham Brody (Portlaoise); David Seale (Portlaoise), Shane Nerney (O’Dempsey’s), Gareth Dillon (Portlaoise); Marty Scully (Ballyroan-Abbey), Stephen Attride (Killeshin), Colm Begley (Stradbally); John O’Loughlin (St Brigid’s), Kevin Meaney (Arles-Kilcruise); Danny O’Reilly (Graiguecullen), Donie Kingston (Arles-Killeen), Conor Boyle (Portlaoise); Paul Cahillane (Portlaoise), Evan O’Carroll (Crettyard), Mark Barry (O’Dempsey’s)