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'One of the bravest things I've seen on a football field' - Laois captain on the mend from double skull fracture

Stephen Attride suffered the serious injury towards the end of Sunday’s clash in Croke Park.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

LAOIS CAPTAIN STEPHEN Attride continues to recover from the double skull fracture that rules him out of the Leinster final with manager John Sugrue and team-mate Colm Begley hailing the bravery he showed last Sunday in Croke Park.

Attride faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after suffering the serious injury at the end of the semi-final win over Carlow when he threw himself on a breaking ball to stop an opposition attack.

He is on the mend and has been urging his team-mates to focus on the Leinster decider against Dublin on Sunday week.

“It just kind of shows the character of the lad the way he is, he’s kind of more concerned about getting back to help lads on the sideline and being there for training,” said Begley at tonight’s press event in Portlaoise ahead of the provincial decider.

“A huge loss for us a team and devastated for him personally because the act of selflessness was one of the bravest things I’ve seen on a football field.

“We actually thought we were in trouble there, they’d outnumbered us through but the instinctive thing (was) to throw himself on the ball.

“You can see as well on social media, the response he’s got as regards other players that have played with him before, who have watched him play, he’s very much respected as a GAA player.

“Look I wish him a speedy recovery but he’ll be there for us on the sideline and leading as a captain even off the pitch. That’s typically him. I’d like to think I’d be selfless enough too but if it was me, I’d be gutted and I’m sure he is but he pushes to the fore of what is really important and that’s about us being in a Leinster final now and preparing as best we can.

“Even from that action alone, shows the leader he is. The boys very much appreciate what he’s done for us too. It’ll be good to have him there as soon as possible.”

Laois boss Sugrue echoed the thoughts of centre-back Begley.

“It’s one of those things, there’s a serious level of focus in that man and a serious desire to push the team forward,” said the Kerry native.

“He was totally focused on that moment in play and went in very, very bravely, which I’m not sure other fellas to a great degree would have. He really drove in hard for that and unfortunately came out the wrong side.

“Steven is our captain and leads by action more than words. He’s captain for a reason. We’ll move on from that, we’ve got to move on from that.

“Not being in any way disrespectful to Steve, but we’ve got to move on and we’ve got to balance our team up in other ways and push on.

“We’ve got fellas training hard all year and fellas in reasonably good form so hopefully we’ll be close to our peak in ten days time.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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