Seamas ‘Cheddar’ Plunkett and Paul Cuddy met with members of the 2011 Laois senior hurling panel on Monday night in the Maldron Hotel, as Laois GAA continues to try and plot a way forward after a disastrous two year spell.
All members of the 2011 panel, as well as players who did not make themselves available for selection, were invited to the meeting, with Plunkett and Cuddy charged with compiling a report for the County Board as they begin a search for a new manager. It is expected that Plunkett will be part of a sub-committee to be drawn up that will look for a new manager.
Plunkett has also been confirmed as the manager of the Laois minor hurlers for a third year, while Tony Doran has had his name put forward for the U-21 position, although that was not ratified at Monday night’s meeting as it is hoped to link both the senior and U-21 panels in the future.
A delegation of six players - Patrick Mullaney, Darren Maher, Willie Hyland, Tommy Fitzgerald, Eoin Reilly and Matthew Whelan - met with County Board officials last month, but no solutions to the problems were forthcoming from what was believed to have been an acrimonious meeting.
Ciaran Delaney, Hurling Board Chairman, also revealed to the meeting that only one third of the senior panel made themselves available for strength and conditioning training last November and December.
No details of the meeting between Plunkett, Cuddy and the players were available as of yet, but it is expected that Plunkett will draw up a report of the findings of the meeting with the players and present it to the County Board in the coming weeks.
A meeting of the hurling clubs is expected to be called in the near future also, although Brian Allen confirmed that there would be no rush put on finding a new senior hurling manager as they bid to make a lasting appointment after three managers in the last three years.