New Laois senior hurling manager Seamus Plunkett has gotten the ball rolling for 2013 with some high-profile appointments to his back room team.
A well-informed source as confirmed that Plunkett has secured the services Ger Cunningham as his technical coach for the coming season, with the National Athlete Development Academy set to provide as the strength and conditioning coaches.
There has also been another selector appointed, with Damien Culliton from Camross also accepting an invitation to join the setup.
Ger Cunningham, a namesake of the former Cork goalkeeper, is originally from Knockainey in Limerick, but has enjoyed success with a number of different teams around Munster.
He lead Newtownshandrum to an All-Ireland club title in 2004, before then moving to Thurles Sarsfilds in Tipperary the following year. He lead them to a first Tipperary SHC title since 1974, and has since moved on to work with Univeristy of Limerick, where he works, as well as the Limerick senior and minor hurling teams.
He was at the helm when Univeristy of Limerick won the Fitzgibbon Cup in 2011, as well as helping them to the semi-finals last year.
The appointment of NADA to help with the strength and conditioning of the players is another statement of intent. NADA are working with the Dublin footballers this year, and it is believed Kevin Croke, a Laois native who works with the Academy, will be working closely with the Laois team. Barry Solan, who is the strength and conditioning coach with the Laois senior footballers, is a consultant with NADA also.
The players met with Plunkett and his management team over the weekend, with NADA also screening the players for injuries and fitness levels ahead of their Walsh Cup opener. Laois will play UCD in the first round on January 20