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One of Laois' best-known hurlers retires from inter-county game at just 28

Hip injuries have forced Willie Hyland to step away.

Laois star Willie Hyland.
Laois star Willie Hyland.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

LAOIS HURLER WILLIE Hyland has announced his retirement from the inter-county game at the age of 28 due to persistent injury problems.

Hyland has been one of the county’s leading lights in the small ball code for a number of years and featured on the Laois sides which won Division 2 of the league in 2007 and Division 2A in 2013.

The versatile free-taker made his senior debut for the O’Moore County as a 17-year-old and first lined out in the championship under Dinny Cahill in 2006.

Hyland has also represented Leinster in the Railway Cup and Ireland in the Shinty-Hurling series against Scotland.

However, he has informed new Laois manager Eamonn Kelly that he won’t be available for 2017 due to struggles with his hips.

“I wish to announce my retirement from inter-county hurling,” Hyland said in a statement.

“In recent years I’ve had issues with both my hips which has restricted my training and caused me discomfort after training and games — this is the main reason for my retirement. At inter-county level if you can’t give 100 per cent then you’re at nothing.

“It’s been an honour to play for Laois and I’ve huge respect for all the men that I’ve worn the blue and white with over the years. I’ve made friendships that will last a life-time, not just in Laois but across the country.

“I would like to thank all the managers I have worked with, from Dinny Cahill, who gave me my debut in 2006, to ‘Cheddar’ (Seamus Plunkett) — who gave us days in a Laois jersey that many didn’t think was possible.

“I would like to wish the incoming manager Eamonn Kelly and the 2017 panel the very best of luck and I look forward to supporting Laois in the years ahead.”

Hyland will continue to play for his club, Clough/Ballacolla.

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Alan Waldron

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