Peter Creedon and his Laois management set-up have decided not to seek reappointment for the 2018 season.
Creedon and his backroom team, who oversaw huge progression with the Tipperary footballers before joining Laois, spent just one season with the O’Moore County.
On stepping down, Creedon expressed annoyance at media reports that there had been a drink culture among his squad.
“Although we had the support of the county board executive and the Laois players, we feel staying on would be divisive for the county, given the nature of a recent board meeting,” he said.
“This type of generalisation of there being a drink culture in the squad is deeply unfair and divisive given that we were aware of only one incident where three players were absent from an early training session on Easter Monday,” Creedon stressed.
Creedon also refuted suggestions that management were aware of players drinking in the days before games.
“The management were not aware of this issue and, in recent discussions with players, we found they were at a loss to explain or substantiate such rumours.
“If anyone has the names, dates, times, and venues of these alleged discrepancies, we would be grateful if they would furnish them immediately to the county board chairman.”
The management team accepts that it was a disappointing season — they were relegated to Division 4 on the final day of the NFL and ultimately bowed out of the championship against Clare.
“It was disappointing,” Creedon conceded. “However, inches of a post were the difference to us being relegated or staying up and throughout the league we had a number of injuries to contend with.
“Trying to blood new players proved hard as well — but we accept that results were poor and that an inability to keep 15 players on the pitch ultimately led to relegation.
“The training was upped for the championship, though, and our players responded with an emphatic victory over Longford.
“The improved levels of fitness and spirit in the team and our game-plan worked well on the day.
“Two weeks later, unfortunately, our second half performance against Kildare was very flat.
“We regrouped in the qualifiers and left Aughrim with a second championship win of the year but then Clare proved to be too good for us in our last game of the season.
“Again, I felt our second half showing was again very flat once we were reduced to 14 men.”
The outgoing management feel Laois are in the midst of a rebuilding process and believe patience is now required.
“Constant reference to the 2003 All-Ireland minor winning teams back-boning the current senior team is now irrelevant,” Creedon added.
“Unfortunately, as we tried to bring new players in, we found a lack of understanding from keyboard warriors, some members of local media and some club delegates. A fairer analysis of results over the last four years will show Laois have slipped and are now playing catch-up with Kildare and Meath, in particular, in Leinster.
“The county board has put in place fantastic training facilities and excellent mentors for the underage development squads.
“If all parties in Laois pull together those investments will pay dividends.
“With a dedicated and unified group of young players they can work their way back to the top,” Creedon said.
“We leave with our heads held high. The officials of the county board supported us all year and everything that we asked for was given to the panel.
“We had an excellent medical team, great kit men in Ollie and Pat, and a panel of genuine players who gave huge effort to the cause.
“Maybe the results did not reflect their effort but they gave 100% to all training sessions and games.”
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