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Hurling season gets underway for Laois

Laois manager Seamus Plunkett gives orders against Wexford in the Leinster MHC at O'Moore Park. Picture: Alf Harvey.

Laois manager Seamus Plunkett gives orders against Wexford in the Leinster MHC at O'Moore Park. Picture: Alf Harvey.

The 2013 intercounty hurling season will get underway in earnest this weekend as Seamas Plunkett leads his Laois team into action against UCD in Rathdowney on Sunday.

Exactly how well equipped Laois are for a game at this stage remains to be seen, as they have only recently returned to group training after their extended winter break.

The work has begun in earnest however, with the squad already training six nights a week to make up for lost time, while it is also planned to train twice on Saturdays, although that has not yet begun.

The make up of the panel has not yet been finalised either, with the management team hoping to get as many players as possible involved in the coming weeks, before paring the numbers back down in due course.

If Laois overcome UCD on Sunday, they will face another game seven days later against Dublin, while if they lose, they will be in the Walsh Cup Shield, where an open draw will determine who they play next.

The focus for the time being, however, will be on constructing the panel and increasing the fitness and condition of the players as soon as possible.

After an uncertain winter, the players have now found themselves in the midst of a professional and hectic training regime, and it could be asking too much of them to compete against a UCD team which will be fine-tuning their preparations for the Fitzgibbon Cup.

There should be plenty of local interest stoked up by the apppointment of Seamas Cuddy and his back room team.

Part of the challenge facing Cuddy will be to try and get bigger numbers following the senior hurlers as interest among supporters dwindled significantly in recent years, and the inaugural steps on the road to recovery will be taken in earnest this Sunday.

Throw in at Rathdowney is set for 2pm.

 

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