The Laois senior footballers have been dealt a big blow ahead of their 2020 campaign with the Kingston brothers, Donie and Paul, opting out for the year.
The Arles-Killeen duo join former captain Stephen Attride in pulling out of the panel, after his move to Australia.
The news comes as a massive blow for Laois' new manager, former Kerry star Mike Quirke, who replaced his fellow Kingdom man John Sugrue in charge in September.
Laois Today have reported the news, with Quirke telling the publication they were deciding to spend some time away from the game.
“Donie and Paul, and obviously Stephen Attride who is gone travelling, they are all significant losses.
“Stephen was the captain for the last three years and Donie has been a legend of Laois football for a long time.
“Paul was the guy that you were hoping was going to take another big step next year.
“But the two lads indicated that with work and with Donie getting married and other things, they felt they were under too much pressure at the moment.”
The Senior Football team get their new season underway this Saturday 7th December
O'Byrne Cup - Round 1
Laois V Offaly
Mc Cann Park Portarlington at 2pm
Come support the new management team of Mike Quirke , Maurice Horan Maurice Browne and Eoin Kearns in their first game. pic.twitter.com/ie3Vc0v6Lu
— Laois GAA (@CLGLaois) December 2, 2019
Laois get their Bórd na Móna O'Byrne Cup campaign underway against Offaly this Saturday in Portarlington at 2pm.
Quirke says his squad has been training hard and added that he hopes the players who have opted out will be back for 2021.
“At this stage, we are getting a lot of work in now and we’ve got a big training squad.
“So it isn’t a situation that guys are going to be able to come in January and have the requisite work done to go and get game time. And in fairness, Donie and Paul know that.
“I feel they’ve both been massive servants to Laois football and soldiered for the good of the county for many years.
“I would have loved to have worked with them but I totally respect the fact that they have other sizeable work commitments outside of football that they feel wouldn’t allow them to give the best of themselves to Laois.
“Neither has retired from the game to the best of my knowledge and hopefully we’ll see one or both of them back representing Laois in 2021.”
The O'Moore County will get their Allianz League Division Two campaign started away to Roscommon on Sunday, January 26th.
Their Leinster football championship will begin on the weekend of May 23rd/24th in the last-eight against the winner of Louth and Longford's first-round tie.