O’Flatharta steps in as new Laois manager

O’Flatharta steps in as new Laois manager
Tomás O’Flatharta is hoping that a number of veteran players who missed the O’Byrne Cup due to injury will be available for selection this Sunday.

Tomás O’Flatharta is hoping that a number of veteran players who missed the O’Byrne Cup due to injury will be available for selection this Sunday.

Already without the services of the retired Padraig Clancy and Brendan Quigley, who is in America, the new Laois manager is waiting to see if a number of other key players will be fit in time for the Allianz League Dvision Two opener against Donegal in O’Moore Park.

The former Westmeath manager, who took the Lakesiders to the Division Two title in 2008, feels Donegal are a very testing start to his reign.

“It’s a very big challenge,” Ó Flatharta said. “We have the game at home. We all know what they’re about. They’re All Ireland champions from two years ago.

“They’re still a very good team. It’s a great game for us. It will tell us where we are really. Obviously one of our goals is to improve as we go along and having a game like Donegal in the first one is great for us.”

Donegal played each of their last two Division Two matches against Laois back in 2011.

Laois won 1-14 to 0-11 at O’Moore Park before Donegal gained revenge with a 2-10 to 0-15 at Croke Park.

In last year’s All-Ireland qualifiers at Pairc Sean MacDiarmada in Carrick-on-Shannon, Donegal came out on top, 0-14 to 0-8.