LADIES FOOTBALL

Laois Ladies set to open season against Kildare

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Laois Ladies set to open season against Kildare

Laois players Maggie Murphy, Martha Kirwan and Aileen O'Loughlin (Captain) ahead of league opener against Kildare on Sunday.

Laois seniors embark on a new league campaign on Sunday next when they take on Kildare in the LIDL Ladies Football League Division 2 in Annanough at 2pm.

It is fair to say that this season there is a renewed optimism and sense of purpose about the panel, with five or six of last year’s minors introduced to bolster the more established group.

Manager Kevin Doogue, along with assistant manager Martin Kelly, worked hard last year to rebuild a squad and halt the downward slide of previous years.

In 2015 commitment to the county dropped to an all time low as many talented club players declined the offer to play for Laois, and a new low was reached with the concession of a walkover to Kerry in the League.

During 2016 some former players returned, attendances at training increased and there was marked improvement in morale. League results were at best inconsistent but as the year progressed performances slowly improved to the extent that Laois were considered very unlucky to go down to Cavan in the Qualifiers.

The foundations were laid in 2016 and preparations for the current League have gone reasonably well, with satisfactory numbers at training and good performances in challenge games.

Laois lost to Kildare in the corresponding game last year and the Lilywhites went on win the All-Ireland Intermediate final in September. Games between the counties have generally been close in recent years and it’s likely that Sunday’s will take a similar course.