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Wednesday 8 February 2023 Dublin: 5°C
Donall Farmer/INPHO Former Galway boss Anthony Cunningham.
# new appointment
Laois welcome former Galway hurling boss Anthony Cunningham to management team
Cunningham joins the O’Moore County set-up as a coach.

LAOIS SENIOR FOOTBALL team manager Mick Lillis believes that former Galway hurling boss Anthony Cunningham will bring a “freshness” to the O’Moore County set-up following his appointment as coach.

Cunningham was controversially ousted by player power in Galway last year but is back on the inter-county scene with the Laois footballers for the forthcoming championship campaign.

Lillis revealed that Cunningham was present for a recent training camp at Breaffy House in Mayo and it was confirmed over the weekend that he is now on board as Laois prepare for their Leinster SFC first round clash at home to Wicklow on 14 May.

Lillis explained: “He was with us on a training camp a few weeks ago in Breaffy House and after that, it went from there.

“That was the first time I met him. I would have known him from a distance and by reputation but wouldn’t have had any contact previously. He wouldn’t have known me either.”

While Cunningham’s management career will be remembered primarily for his stint in Galway, whom he led to All-Ireland senior hurling finals in 2012 and last year, he also enjoyed considerable success in club football management with Roscommon outfit St Brigid’s and Westmeath’s Garrycastle.

Cunningham linked up with the Laois players on their home soil for the first time on Saturday evening and Lillis said: “He was excellent with us. He brings a freshness to the whole thing, which is what we wanted. He’s well-motivated, he’s a good guy and has great experience.”

Laois suffered relegation to Division 3 of the Allianz Football League this year but victory over Wicklow would set up a Leinster quarter-final against provincial and All-Ireland champions Dublin at Nowlan Park in Kilkenny.

Lillis admitted that a number of his players are currently nursing injuries but is hopeful that he will have a full hand to choose from for the Wicklow crunch.

He said: “We’re trying to get fellas back on the road, a lot of injuries, but things are coming on. Like everybody else, we’re preparing away nice and quietly in the background. Hopefully things will be alright for us.

“We have four or five lads injured still. They’re making progress and we’re hoping everybody will be ready.

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