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Laois senior footballers on the hunt for a new manager as Quirke departs

The Laois senior footballers are on the hunt for a new manager as Mike Quirke has left the role.

The Kerry native succeeded John Sugrue at the start of the 2020 season but his tenure has been massively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Under Quirke, Laois remained in Division 2 in 2020 following a dramatic final day win over Fermanagh last October.

The championship brought a win over Longford and then a heavy defeat to eventual All-Ireland champions Dublin in the semi finals.

But 2021 has not gone anywhere close to plan as Laois have been resoundingly beaten in all five of their games.

Clare, Kildare and Cork were all too strong in Division 2 South and then Down defeated Laois in the playoff to send them to Division 3.

Sunday’s Leinster quarter final defeat to Westmeath meant that Laois ended the year without a competitive victory.

In a statement, Quirke confirmed the news.

He said: “I have informed the secretary of Laois GAA of my decision to step down from the role of manager of the senior football team with immediate effect and I want to publicly thank the county board for affording me the opportunity to lead their senior set up.

“I’d like to express my sincere appreciation to all the players, management and backroom team for their unwavering efforts over the past two Covid raged inter-county seasons.

“It has been a difficult slog at times, but made far more enjoyable by the quality of people involved.

“The players have shown fantastic commitment towards representing their county in the best possible way through very challenging circumstances and despite not getting the performances or results we craved this season, they can be proud of the effort and application they have shown throughout.

“I’ve made my decision at this stage to allow the county board ample time to find new management in advance of county championship action resuming in the county in the coming weeks and months.”

In a follow up, Laois GAA thanked Quirke for his time in charge.

They said: “On behalf of Laois GAA, we wish to thank Mike Quirke for his two year commitment and dedication with the Laois senior football panel.

“He is a gentleman to the core and has given everything for the cause.

“We wish Mike and his family all of the best in the future.”

SEE ALSO – Dramatic second half collapse for Laois as Westmeath defeat sees dreadful 2021 campaign end

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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.