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Host of Laois teenagers sign for League of Ireland clubs ahead of new season

Conor Brown, Scott Roycroft, Peter Grogan, Jack Byrne and Evan Hewitt

A host of Laois teenagers have signed for League of Ireland clubs ahead of the new season.

Traditionally, the underage League of Ireland season, which has leagues at U-14, U-15, U-17 and U-19, would be underway now.

But Covid-19 has prevented that from happening as all non-elite sporting activity is paused for now.

There are hopes that non-contact training will be permitted to resume in April with games in May or June – but all of that is pending any easing of restrictions by the government.

Nevertheless, teams have been busy signing up Laois players with 25 players now registered.

At U-19 level, Portlaoise duo Colin Conroy and Aaron Doran will represent Bohemians – and they have also signed first team contracts too.

Athlone Town have snapped up 2020 Laois minor keeper Sam Krebs for the new U-19 season also.

While at U-17 level, eight Laois players have signed for two clubs.

Portlaoise trio Evan Hewitt, Colin McEvoy and Conor Brown will all play for Athlone Town this year.

While they are joined by Mountrath native and former St Aengus and St Patrick’s Athletic player Kelvin Burke at the midlands club.

Carlow-Kilkenny FC, founded in 2018, have gone from strength to strength since they entered the league and now have teams at all age grades.

Laois players are well represented on their squads – with four at U-17 level.

Graiguecullen natives Jack Byrne and Scott Roycroft will wear green again while Crettyard’s Peter Grogan has also resigned.

While Mountmellick native Cian Culleton has transferred from Athlone Town to Carlow-Kilkenny FC.

Dylan Murphy and Patrick O’Connor, previously of St Fiacc’s, Jack Milton of Killeshin and Oisin Daly of St Pats Boys will all represent the Carlow-Kilkenny U-15 squad.

Emo native Roy Lawlor has re-signed with Bray Wanderers for the upcoming U-15 season.

His side lost the U-13 final to St Patrick’s Athletic on penalties two years ago and will be hoping to go one better this time.

Roy Lawlor

And it is on the Carlow-Kilkenny U-14 squad that the highest level of Laois representation is found – with half of the 18-player panel coming from Laois clubs.

Four former Portlaoise AFC players have signed – Ben O’Connor, Darren Brennan, Kyron Cuddy and Liam Conroy.

Killeshin duo Callum O’Regan and Adam Farrell are also on the squad while Jan Flejszar (St Pats Boys), Jayden Kelly (St Fiacc’s) and John O’Brien (Durrow Lions) concluding the Laois representation.

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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.