Laois GAA launches new Athletic Development Programme to help players in transition to senior status

Athletic Development Programme catering for players aged from 18 to 24.

Conor Ganly


Conor Ganly


Laois minor football team named for Westmeath clash

The Laois minor footballers prior to their opening Championship game against Carlow. Photo: Paul Dargan

Laois GAA has launched new Athletic Development Programme catering for players aged from 18 to 24.

Laois GAA says this Development Programme allows the selected player to access the expert knowledge of the county's Athletic Development team.

A statement explained what's involved.

"They will receive Athletic Development guidance and support tailored to the playing season training cycle. Working closely with our Senior managers Seamas Plunkett and Mike Quirke, our U20 managers Enda Lyons and Eddie Kinsella and the Coaching and Games Department, this project will be overseen by the County Hurling and Football Chairpersons.  Working as a collective we endeavour to provide the best possible service to you, our valued playing members.  

The initial meetings will take place on Wednesday, March 31 for Gaelic football players and on Thursday, April 1 for Hurling players.

The GAA says the meeting will be held using Microsoft Teams. The meeting link will be sent to all those who fill in the submission of interest form below. 
Selection Criteria Explained by LAOIS GAA
The Laois GAA Athletic Development Programme provides strength and conditioning support during the season to players who have been exposed to the county’s underage development squad program, currently not involved in selection panels at U20 & senior. The programme also caters for players who may not have been exposed to the underage development squad but have recently shown the potential through club performances as noted by current management teams. 
Criteria to be selected for this Athletic Development Group:  

  • Age: 18 – 24 years old  
  • Express an ambition to play inter-county hurling or Gaelic football 
  • A willingness to give yourself the best opportunity possible to play inter-county for Laois GAA.

Outcomes for High Achievers  
Those who fully engage with the programme and show exceptional levels of progress will be offered the following opportunities: 

  1. Invited for trials for the U20/Senior panels in late 2021 for the 2022 season.
  2.  In the event of any injuries or withdrawals from the current U20/Senior panels, players who show exceptional progress on the program may be invited to join the current panel.
  3. Because of the expertise and feedback given on the programme, players who buy in and participate fully will be ensuring that they are maximizing their own potential i.e. "BEING THE BEST YOU CAN BE". This will mean that players will be in the best possible physical condition to play at the highest level with their clubs and county. This will increase standards in hurling and football and will benefit both clubs and county.  

Why have an Athletic Development Plan for you? 

Whether you were part of the Academy system or a player who has come to the fore with their club, we can provide the assistance you require. Published research and anecdotal evidence has highlighted that “late developers” can have trouble transitioning to the greater demands of elite level sport. This program aims to help bridge that gap. The basis of the programme will be the development of both strength & conditioning aspects of Athletic Performance. 
The programme will be overseen by qualified strength & conditioning practitioners employed by Laois GAA. A program can only be successful if you, the athlete truly believes in it. To achieve this, we will endeavour to educate you, by giving you full access to this programme, the facilities at the centre of excellence and you will be granted access to our Training App for the duration of the programme.

You will be invited to attend testing days where you will perform tests that the current panels partake in as a way of benchmarking and giving you feedback on areas of improvement from an Athletic Development standpoint.  

If this opportunity is something that may be of interest to you, please reply before Monday, March 29 at 6pm by completing the form at this link