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Laois U-20 footballers name captain, vice-captain and unveil fundraiser for the Irish Heart Foundation

Laois U-20 footballers

The Laois U-20 footballers have named their captain and vice-captain for the 2023 season – and have also unveiled a fundraiser for the Irish Heart Foundation.

Park-Ratheniska’s Simon Fingleton will skipper the team this term and will be assisted by Portlaoise’s Ben Dempsey.

Both players started for the U-20s last season and Dempsey was then called into the Senior squad for the latter stages of the National League and Tailteann Cup.

As a minor team, Laois reached the Leinster semi final with Fingleton at midfield and Dempsey at full back.

The squad have also launched a fundraiser in aid of the Irish Heart Foundation.

Back at Christmas time, the panel were visited by AFL star Zach Tuohy.

The Portlaoise man presented them with a signed Geelong Cats jersey and also signed one of the new Laois jerseys.

These have both been framed and the squad are now aiming to auction this off with joint manager Tom Byrne explaining the reason why they chose the Irish Heart Foundation.

Killeshin midfielder Conor Heffernan’s dad sadly passed away following a heart attack – so the charity is very close to his family.

Tom said: “We were delighted to have Zach in to visit the lads when he was home from Australia.

“He gave them a brilliant talk and everyone was able to take away something really positive afterwards.

“Zach was also kind enough to sign two jerseys and we decided to use these as a fundraiser.

“I put it out to the lads that if anyone had a particular charity that they were close to, that we could do it for them.

“Conor Heffernan’s dad Michael sadly passed away following a heart attack in 2015 so when he suggested the Irish Heart Foundation, everyone was instantly in agreement.”

Anyone who wishes to bid for the framed jerseys is asked to message Tom on WhatsApp with their bid on 087-2694591.

Laois began their John Kerins Cup campaign away to Cork last weekend where they drew away to Cork.

They will play Round 2 this afternoon at 1pm in the Centre of Excellence against Roscommon.

They then have a week off before concluding the group phase away to Galway on March 4.

If they top the group they will play the winner from the other side in the final on March 11.

After that, their Leinster championship campaign will begin away to Carlow on Tuesday March 21.

SEE ALSO – Two Laois students move to top of the class at Royal College of Surgeons 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.