Laois senior footballers head for Killarney this Sunday afternoon to take on a high-flying Kerry, and are likely to do so without injured attacking duo Padraig Clancy and David Conway, as both are continuing their recovery from hamstring injuries.
Conway hasn’t played since the win over Donegal in the second round of games, while Clancy was forced off before half time in the loss to Dublin. Laois have struggled to cope without the Timahoe man at full-forward, with three different players - Adrian Kelly, Darren Strong and John O’Loughlin - featuring there in Sunday’s win over Armagh.
Looking ahead to the game, manager Justin McNulty said there is only an outside chance either player will feature in Killarney. “They are still a bit away (from full fitness), we would be hopeful for the weekend but it is looking more likely that they will be back for the final league game.”
Laois at least have no new injury worries from Sunday’s victory, with Colm Begley fine after picking up a cut to the forehead late in the game.
McNulty will need at hands on deck for this weekend, as Laois take on the most in-form side in the division, and he paid tribute to the beaten All-Ireland finalists ahead of the game. “Kerry are on fire at the moment, they are playing with confidence and with abandon, and that’s the way we’kk be setting out to play this weekend as well, we will be giving our all to get a result.”
This weekend’s game will be Laois’ fourth in as many weekends, and after tough games against Dublin, Cork and Armagh, the difficulty of life in Division 1 is really hitting home as they get no respite ahead of Sunday’s game.
Despite the hectic schedule, the Laois manager believes it is only a good thing. “I think it makes it more enjoyable, players enjoy playing games and it makes it more exciting, the players are loving it. They want to be involved in the big games.”
McNulty also confirmed that the panel will remain open for the foreseeable future, with Mark Timmons and Scott Conroy coming on board in the last month. If players in the county are showing form and want to come on board, the manager is happy to have them. “If somebody is putting their hand up and wants to play for Laois then we will see if they can come in. The panel will always remain open and if there is someone playing to a high level then we will pursue them.”