Two Laois football clubs have appointed new managers ahead of the 2021 season.
Joe Higgins has stepped down as St Joseph’s boss but his replacement will be well known to the team as he was part of the management team last year.
Michael Dempsey will assume the role of manager while Ian Donnelly and David Brennan will assist him as selectors.
Dempsey previously stepped down as a Kilkenny hurling selector in 2019 after a long spell as Brian Cody’s right hand man.
St Joseph’s had a mixed campaign in the 2020 Laois senior football championship.
They lost to a dramatic late goal against Ballyroan-Abbey in Round 1 but recovered to defeat Stradbally in Round 2.
However, they were subsequently eliminated by Portlaoise in Round 3.
Meanwhile, Arles-Kilcruise have also appointed a new manager for the new season.
Dublin native Mick Byrne is back in charge – a decade after he last took the reins.
Byrne managed Kilcruise from 2009 to 2011 – reaching senior finals in 2009 and 2010 where they lost out to Portlaoise.
2020 was a bitterly disappointing year for Kilcruise as they lost The Heath, Arles-Killeen, Stradbally and Courtwood to seal their relegation to intermediate for 2021.
But just when the 2021 season will actually commence is anybody’s guess at present.
The GAA have said that club activity cannot take place until the country returns to Level 2 of the Covid-19 plan – and with that seemingly spiralling out of control, it could be a good few months away.