Young fans help Laois goalkeeper Eoin Reilly locate picture of grandad

Eoin Reilly was intent on not getting caught. He’d retrieve his picture from the O’Moore Park turf and slip away from the sprinkling of Laois fans gathered close to goal.

Young fans help Laois goalkeeper Eoin Reilly locate picture of grandad

One problem, however.

Eoin Reilly, as much as he searched, could not locate the spade-mark he’d left on the field the night before.

On Friday evening, the Laois hurlers congregated at O’Moore Park for their final team meeting ahead of the round 1 qualifier at home to Dublin.

Manager ‘Cheddar’ Plunkett requested each player bring a picture to the meeting, a picture of a person or people who stirred inspiration.

Spades were left at the side of the field for players who wished to bury their pictures in the pitch.

The idea, explains Laois goalkeeper Reilly, “was to make O’Moore Park our own, to give it a further sense that this field belonged to us”.

Reilly headed off towards the goalmouth where he buried a picture of himself and his now deceased grandfather.

“He [Sean Reilly] died when I was 18 and the picture was taken after Abbeyleix won the County Intermediate hurling final in 2007.”

Borris-in-Ossory were defeated in a thrilling final and it was one of the last times Sean saw Eoin in action.

“He wasn’t a hurling fanatic, but he came to all my games from a very young age, he was forever offering me advice and guidance.

“He was someone I looked up to.

“He was a source of inspiration to me.

“I’m not sure how many players buried their picture, it was a personal decision.

“Cheddar is always coming up with different initiatives like this before games.”

Reilly sought to retrieve the picture after the final whistle sounded on Laois’ championship exit, but struggled to locate the exact spot where the picture was placed.

“I buried it with surgical precision on the Friday evening.

“Now it rained that night and I was worried that would make it difficult to find the mark where it was.

“I went looking for it after the game, but couldn’t find it.

“I didn’t want to draw attention to what I was doing, but, at the same time, I didn’t want to leave the picture on the field.

“This is a picture that means a lot to me and was one of the last pictures of the two of us together.

“A couple of young lads spotted me looking for it and curiosity drew them over.

“Thankfully, I got it in the end.”

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