GAA NEWS - Roe names strong Laois U-21 panel

The Laois U-21 football panel has been released, as manager Pat Roe and his backroom team preprare for their first outing against Westmeath in the championship in a little over a month's time.

The Laois U-21 football panel has been released, as manager Pat Roe and his backroom team preprare for their first outing against Westmeath in the championship in a little over a month's time.

Roe has named a panel of 33, although with a number of injuries to contend with he has been working with a much smaller pick in recent weeks. Donie Kingston is the highest profile injury victim, and it will be touch-and-go for him as to whether he makes it back in time for the championship.

He picked up a groin injury late last year which is also affecting muscles in his abdomen, and he is not due to be fully recovered until February, which will leave him in a race against time to be fit for the Westmeath game.

Joining Kingston in the treatment room are Daryl Hayden, who is recovering from a hernia operation, as well as Rory Bracken, who has a shoulder injury, while Shane Carney, Jamie Farrell and Donnchadh Culleton are also struggling for fitness.

Portlaoise's Paul Cotter has been named on the provisional panel, but he is still working his way back to fitness from a cruciate ligament injury, and has not yet been able to take a full part in training. His clubmate, Graham Brody, has also been added as the third goalkeeper, and he will have to balance his commitment between the minor and U-21 panels. Portarlington's Adam Ryan will not be involved this year.

Laois will start their campaign on February 23 away to Westmeath, the side which knocked them out of last year's Leinster championship.

The panel in full is as follows: Donie Kingston (Arles-Killeen), James Finn (Ballyfin), Ciaran Farrell, Gary Walsh, Jamie Farrell (Ballylinan), Emmett Malone (Barrowhouse), Luke Doyle (Courtwood), Shane Carney, Shane Murphy (Emo), Daryl Hayden (Graiguecullen), Jeremy Mahon (Killeshin) Sean George (Mountmellick), Barry Kelly, Rory Bracken (O'Dempsey's), Barry Mitchell, Sean Michael Manley (Portarlington), Kieran Lillis, Brian Seale, Stuart Nerney, Paul Cotter, Eoin Whelan, Graham Brody (Portlaoise), John Dunphy (Spink), James Doyle, Kevin Campion (St Joseph's), Wayne Comerford, Keiran Delaney (Stradbally), Ciaran Booth, Jimmy Nerney, Alan Whelan (The Heath), Donnchadh Culleton, Ruair O'Connor, Damien O'Connor (Timahoe)