Laois senior football manager, Mike Quirke, announced his squad’s captain and vice-captains during the week.
Portlaoise’s Kieran Lillis was named captain while John O’Loughlin and Colm Begley take on their roles as joint vice-captains.
Lillis is the current Laois Senior Footballer of the Year after his consistently brilliant performances for his club throughout the year, leading them to another county title in 2019 so it is no surprise the role is a perfect fit.
Now, he will lead Quirke’s charges into their league opener in Roscommon on Sunday at 2pm and he is rearing to go.
“I took a few weeks off after Eire Og and I came back in here just before Christmas and it’s been shoulder to the wheel since.
I took 3 full weeks off to clear the head, relax a small bit and get ready for the year coming,” he explained.
Having suffered multiple injuries throughout his inter-county career and have been moved positions a few times, the last two years have shown Lillis at his strongest.
He said: “It’s great to find a place finally. Over the last few years, I was tried in a few different positions and maybe my lifestyle outside work was not ideal for football.
“I kind of have a good hold on that and a good few decent lads who know the story so they give me an awful lot of leeway in terms of getting my preparation right and it’s worked the last two years.”
Having taken some time out in 2014 to undergo a shoulder operation, Lillis’ drive was stronger than ever when he returned to the field.
“That gave me the space and time to make up my mind about whether I wanted to be a county footballer or if I wanted to pursue other goals.
“I want to be a county footballer and I want to succeed with Laois,” explained the towering midfielder.
And now, he will bring that forward with him into this weekend and the 2020 season and he’s feeling positive.
“I’m looking forward to the year ahead and building my partnership with John O and driving Laois on in Division 2,” he added.