Home Sport GAA Fitness boost for Laois footballers ahead of relegation playoff with Down

Fitness boost for Laois footballers ahead of relegation playoff with Down

Photo: Paul Dargan

The Laois senior footballers are set to be almost at full strength as they aim to get their season going against Down on Saturday.

Forward Donie Kingston is set to be back in contention for a starting place. The Arles-Killeen man limped off against Cork and sat out the Kildare game two weeks ago.

However he, and Stradbally’s Colm Begley, who came off in the opening minute of the Cork defeat with a hamstring problem, are now back in training.

Killeshin’s Shane Bolger is also in the running after missing the Kildare and Cork games through injury but it looks like this weekend will come too early for Graiguecullen’s Trevor Collins.

He missed the Kildare defeat with a hamstring issue and this weekend’s game will come too soon.

Laois are still searching for their first win of 2021 after successive league defeats to Clare, Kildare and Cork.

Down lost out to Meath and Mayo in the first two rounds but finished third in the group following a narrow win over Westmeath in Round 3.

Whoever loses this game will be relegated to Division 3 while the winner will survive for 2022.

This game in Newry on Saturday will also be the first time that either team has played in front of supporters.

500 fans are permitted to attend in Pairc Esler as Northern Ireland is further ahead of us down here in terms of Covid-19 control.

Laois GAA have been given 50 tickets – but they will not be for sale and will be distributed amongst players, officials and sponsors.

Laois Gaels did a giveaway for two tickets and they were won by Michael O’Brien of Clonaslee.

SEE ALSO – Three Laois employees take on Malin to Slea Head cycle in aid of DEBRA Ireland

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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.