Cheddar Plunkett and Laois get their league campaign underway next Sunday
The Laois hurlers kick off their National hurling league campaign next Sunday away to Wexford but manager Cheddar Plunkett has confirmed a number of major injuries in the camp.
Laois will be without at least half a dozen established players for the trip to Wexford Park and indeed for for subsequent games with Mark Kavanagh, Ronan Broderick and Eric Killeen out for the year while Stephen 'Picky' Maher and Willie Dunphy are also set for an extended period on the sidelines.
Speaking to the Leinster Express as part of a preview for the year ahead, Seamas 'Cheddar' Plunkett confirmed the injury plight facing the squad.
"We have some long term injuries that are out for the year. Mark Kavanagh, Ronan Broderick and Eric Killeen are certainly out for the year but it is looking very likely that Willie Dunphy and Picky Maher will also be out. They have had operations in the last couple of weeks and also Eanna Lyons hasn’t come back training with us yet.
“That’s six or seven first team players so you are going to see a different team against Wexford.”
There will be no challenge matches to gauge how players are motoring ahead of that league opener with Wexford but that doesn’t quench his excitement at getting stuck into the challenge ahead.
“This year will be very difficult for us but on the flipside, everybody is dying to get back hurling and gives a great opportunity to give experience to other players and put a bit of competition into the whole thing."
Despite all the injuries, Plunkett is excited to be back and is relishing the challenge ahead.
“Everybody has settled in quickly and they had too. It has been difficult. Even to have an inter-management meeting – we couldn’t have it. Normally you would spend a good number of meetings with members of the management team before it kicks off.
“The pandemic has hit us hard in that regard and with it being our first year as well. I’m very fortunate that I know all the players from my last time in charge but we are really looking forward to moving on and making a difference here.
The Laois v Wexford game will be shown live on TG4 on Sunday and the full interview with Cheddar Plunkett can be read in the League and Championship preview in the Leinster Express on Tuesday.