Laois’s longest serving hurler reckons he has ‘unfinished business’ as he enters his 15th consecutive season representing the county.
Borris-Kilcotton defender Matthew Whelan made his debut in 2007 and he will be available to play under new manager Cheddar Plunkett for a second time when games resume next month.
The Covid-19 pandemic meant that the Leinster and All-Ireland championships were played last winter instead of their usual slot in the summer.
And speaking on the LaoisToday Talking Sport Podcast, which airs on Tuesday, Laois’s leading appearance holder explained how he felt that the time of the year meant it didn’t feel like a proper championship for him.
And that, plus believing he still has plenty to contribute to the inter-county scene, made his decision to return once again very easy.
He said: “I had my mind made up last year (that he wanted to go back for 2021). The season went into winter time and it didn’t feel like championship.
“So I felt like I had unfinished business. We play hurling to hurl in the summer.
“So once I was feeling right, injuries were on my side, the body felt good and my enthusiasm levels were high, I was more than interested in going again.
“So I am really looking forward to the group getting back together collectively next week and getting going again.
“I feel I have plenty to offer and that is the main reason I am coming in.”
Whelan is under the management of Portlaoise’s Seamas ‘Cheddar’ Plunkett for a second time in his career – previously from 2012 to 2015 – and he is delighted to have Cheddar back.
Matthew said: “Cheddar is a Laois man and has been involved in Laois for a long time – he knows the players well and there is good competition in the squad.
“I know the type of manager that he is and he has great experience.
“He brought his expertise to James Stephens last year and was very close to knocking out the best team in the country (Ballyhale Shamrocks).
“Cheddar brings a great energy to training and how he organises everything got to do with running an inter-county team.
“So we certainly got a brilliant replacement for last year’s management team and we would be hoping that he could bring us on another level again this year.”
Whelan is joined on this week’s Talking Sport Podcast by presenter Alan Hartnett and Steven Miller from LaoisToday as they discuss championship draws which are set to be made on Tuesday morning.
It will be available to download this Tuesday morning.