O'Carroll: Good football key to success for Laois under Sheehan

O'Carroll says all of the Kerry men he has played under with Laois had one thing in common - their love of kick-passing.
O'Carroll: Good football key to success for Laois under Sheehan

Laois's Evan O'Carroll. Picture: Eamon Ward

Evan O'Carroll says all of the Kerry men he has played under with Laois had one thing in common - their love of kick-passing.

Billy Sheehan is the latest Kingdom native to boss the midlands county, taking over from current Kerry selector Mike Quirke who succeeded Renard man John Sugrue. Prior to that, Tomas O'Flatharta, Liam Kearns and the great Mick O'Dwyer all had stints in charge of Laois.

Joint captain O'Carroll kick started his career under O Flatharta almost a decade ago and while Laois have endured a difficult 2022 so far under Sheehan, O'Carroll has full faith in the former Kerry and Laois forward to turn things around.

"There are similarities between them," said Laois joint captain O'Carroll of the Kerry men he's played under. "There is a focus on playing football and if you see our games, that is what we are trying to do - just kick-pass the ball. Sometimes it comes off, sometimes it doesn't but we are continually trying to improve that.

"Under John Sugrue, we wanted to play attacking football but sometimes that's not easy in Division 4. Definitely when we were in Division 3, we played good football, a good style of football.

"It was the same thing under Quirke, we were very competitive in Division 2 and just got relegated in the year of Covid. But kick-passing is definitely the main feature of it."

Early results were positive under Sheehan as Laois reached the O'Byrne Cup final and then beat Louth - who eventually topped Division 3 - in Round 1 of the league. But a series of setbacks after that resulted in relegation to Division 4 and a surprise five-goal defeat to Wicklow in the Leinster SFC.

The Tailteann Cup, and Sunday's Round 1 clash with Westmeath, is a potential vehicle for recovery and O'Carroll is confident that Sheehan can steer them in the right direction.

"I played with Billy for a couple of years, knew him as a player and he is the same as a manager - he is 100% focused on the development of us. Midway through the league we just had a couple of disappointing results. We were winning with a minute to go against Antrim and they got a point to level it. We were leading against Limerick and just didn't close it out. You make your own luck in football and those results put a small bit of pressure on us.

"Division 3 was really, really competitive and if you didn't turn up on the day, you got beat. But look, we have something now to focus on winning."

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.