Ryan returns for Offaly under-21s

Birr starlet Sean Ryan has been passed fit to take his place in the Offaly team for tomorrow's Cadbury's Leinster Under-21 football final against Laois (Portlaoise, throw-in 6.30pm).

Birr starlet Sean Ryan has been passed fit to take his place in the Offaly team for tomorrow's Cadbury's Leinster Under-21 football final against Laois (Portlaoise, throw-in 6.30pm).

The talented wing forward was injured for the semi-final win over Meath but returns for the decider in place of Alan Lynam.

Looking forward to the final, Offaly manager Tom Coffey said: "We set a goal early on that we would train hard and try do as much, if not more, than everyone else. The lads responded very well - we cut down the panel, some guys opted out and some guys just didn't make it.

"We were listed with 27 players initially, they worked hard together, did a lot of work over Christmas and took every game as it came and thanks be to God we got through the three games," he told the Offaly Independent.

Coffey's charges saw off Carlow, Longford and Meath on route to the final, but the former minor selector realises just how tough a task it will be to beat what looks a formidable Laois side.

"Laois will be very, very strong and have proven that over the last few years both at under age and in the latter years at senior level. They have been a big force in Leinster football and it is not by accident - they have done the work.

They will be hot favourites on the day and rightly so.

"We are underdogs and we will need to perform in every position for the full hour if we are to compete."

Offaly's last appearance in a Leinster final at this age grade was back in 1995 when they beat Westmeath, coincidentally that final was in Portlaoise.

OFFALY (U-21FC v Laois) - D Bracken; G Grehan, R Dalton, E Byrne; S Lonergan, P McConway, J Keane; N Smith, C Mahon; N Darby, R Connor, S Ryan; W Mulhall, T Coughlan, K Casey.

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