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Laois footballers want ex-Kingdom trainer and South Kerry winning boss as their next manager

Could John Sugrue step into the helm in the O’Moore County?

Laois are on the hunt for a new manager.
Laois are on the hunt for a new manager.
Image: Tom Beary/INPHO

THE LAOIS SENIOR footballers want Kerry native John Sugrue to become their next manager.

Portlaoise-based Sugrue founded the Laois physiotherapy clinic in 2011 and will be sounded out about his availability.

It is understood that a delegation of players met with county board chiefs on Monday after Mick Lillis resigned to discuss a successor.

And they informed O’Moore County top brass that Sugrue, who guided South Kerry to county championship glory in the Kingdom last year, is the man to take them forward.

Sugrue is a highly-rated coach and manager who was physio to the Laois senior footballers in 2012 and 2013.

He also trained the Kerry senior teams in 2007 and 2008 and worked as physio with the Kingdom in 2011.

During his playing days with South Kerry, Sugrue won four Kerry senior football titles.

His home club is Renard while Sugrue also represented South Kerry with distinction before going on to enjoy success with the powerful divisional outfit as manager.

John Sugrue South Kerry native John Sugrue. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

In the past, Sugrue has also worked with the Clare senior hurlers, as well as Irish international senior and junior boxing teams.

Laois players are hopeful that Sugrue will be open to the prospect of taking over as manager but if he’s not, they still want him involved in some capacity, possibly as coach.

As things stand, however, Sugrue is the leading contender for the county’s top job after Lillis stepped aside after just one season at the helm.

Laois believe they are not too far off the mark and watched enviously last weekend as their All-Ireland qualifier conquerors Clare advanced to the quarter-finals.

Laois lost heavily to Dublin in the Leinster championship but regrouped to beat Armagh in the qualifiers after a rematch was ordered following the seven subs saga.

Clare knocked them out in the next round, winning by just a single point at Cusack Park.

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Jackie Cahill

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