Eddie Brennan: ‘I just can’t understand why lads would not want to hurl for their county’

NEW LAOIS BOSS Eddie Brennan is frustrated at not having a full complement of players available to him for the coming season and cannot understand the reluctance of some hurlers in the county to join their squad.

It was revealed last week that this year’s captain Ross King had opted to step away from the panel ‘for the foreseeable future’. King suffered a serious facial injury in action for his club Rathdowney-Errill in the Laois county senior final in September.

Brennan can understand King’s decision but other players have decided against joining the Laois setup, including Ciaran Collier, a county senior winner with Camross this year.

“Ross has made his decision and that’s fair enough and I suppose it has taken up a lot of airtime to be fair to Ross,” remarked Brennan when speaking to Midlands 103 after yesterday’s Walsh Cup loss to Carlow.

New Laois manager Eddie Brennan says he won't put a gun to anyone's head but he's been disappointed by players turning down call ups to the panel pic.twitter.com/GqrdzQYVs7

— Midlands103Sport (@MidlandsSport) December 17, 2018

Source: Midlands103Sport/Twitter

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“There’s a lot of other guys not in here either and that’s something I think that definitely has to be looked at going forward, say how do we change that? Ciaran (Collier) opted not to come in. You can talk to lads all you want but to me it’s very disappointing.

“It’s something I just do not get. I just can’t understand why lads would not want to hurl for their county. To me if you excel with your club, there should be a drive and a grá to do that.

“I suppose I said it from the start when I came in here, I think it’s something that has to be challenged a little bit. That frustrates me. But if lads don’t want to come in, I said to anyone I spoke to, there was no gun to anyone’s head.

“There was certainly going to be no pressure from my end of things, I don’t think anyone should be begged to come in and play for their county.”

Brennan is not certain of the intentions of the experienced Cahir Healy but is aware of the Portlaoise man moving to join the county’s football setup.

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“I don’t know for 110% but the talk is that he’s leaning towards the football so it’s probably better to wait and see what happens there.”

Cahir Healy (right) celebrating Portlaoise’s victory in this year’s Laois county senior football final.

Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Yesterday’s 2-23 to 1-18 loss to Carlow came after an opening day 2-16 to 1-16 victory for Laois against Offaly.

Brennan, who recently won a Leinster intermediate medal as a player with his club Graigue-Ballycallan, has praised the players who he is currently working with.

“Like I said I’ll go back to the guys that are in here at the moment, I’ll work with them. They’ve given us honesty so far and I’d be more than happy with what we have at the moment.

“You’d love to have all the best hurlers in Laois but I have the guys that are willing to represent their county. I think that takes courage to come in and represent your county when that backdrop is there.

“But I will work very much with what I have. It’s as simple as that. The lads that are in at the moment are really applying themselves.”

Laois will conclude their Walsh Cup campaign on Sunday 6 January when they take on Dublin before they begin their hurling league campaign with a couple of tough assignments away to Galway and at home to Waterford.

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