Laois GAA have begun the process of finding a new Laois senior football manager following John Sugrue’s decision to step down after two years in charge.
Similar to recent appointments, the county board have put a three-man committee in place who will meet candidates and come back with a recommendation in a couple of weeks time.
Football Board chairman Laurence Phelan from Killeshin will be joined by Fergal Byron from Courtwood and Ger Slevin who is originally from the O’Dempsey’s club but is now involved with Clough-Ballacolla where he is living.
Byron, an All Star in 2003 when he was part of the Laois team that won the Leinster championship, is a member of Laois County Board as the Coaching Officer but was also part of the three-man committee that selected John Sugrue in 2017. On that committee at the time also was Michael Murphy, manager of the Killeshin Hotel, and former Laois selector Donie Norton from The Heath.
Phelan is in his second year as chairman of the Laois Football Board and has also played a vital role as part of the fundraising developments around O’Moore Park and the LOETB Centre of Excellence.
Slevin, a Leinster U-21 football winner with Laois in 1994 alongside Byron, was a Laois minor selector in 2017 under Noel Delaney from Ballyroan-Abbey and was also part of the independent Laois GAA Strategic Review group in 2017.
He is currently involved in the background with the Clough-Ballacolla hurlers.
“We’re starting the searcg from today,” said Laurence Phelan. “John Sugrue did a super job with Laois and has left us in a very good place.
“I want to wish him well and thank him for what he did. We now want to continue the good work done and don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
“There is a serious amount of positivities around Laois football at the moment. We are back in Division 2, we reached the Leinster U-20 final and eight of that team are underage again next year.
“Clubs can nominate people for the position – but they must have spoken to the person and they have to agree to be put forward. We’ll also be hoping to sound out other candidates and we’ll be coming back to the County Board with a nomination.”
The process that is being followed is similar to how Laois GAA appointed Eddie Brennan, when former Laois hurlers Niall Rigney, Declan Conroy and Eamon Jackman sifted through the candidates.