Westmeath have been dealt a massive blow ahead of tomorrow week's Leinster SFC quarter-final against Laois with the withdrawal of vice-captain James Dolan from the squad.
It's understood that Dolan informed manager Colin Kelly that he will spend the summer in Boston after training on Tuesday night, just two days after captaining the Lake County in their O'Byrne Cup final loss to Meath. The Garrycastle wing back has been one of Westmeath's leading performers in recent years and also one of their leading goal-scorers. Agruably his most important goal came in the Leinster SFC semi-final victory over Kildare two years ago.
Dolan will link up with another stalwart Westmeath defender, Kevin Maguire, in Boston. The Caulry clubman hasn't played for his county this year after spending the last few months travelling. The Lake County's defensive options have been further reduced in recent weeks following the decision by Killian Daly to opt out due to work commitments.
Corner back Mark McCallon is struggling to make the Laois game with a shoulder injury, while there are concerns over the fitness of captain and top-scorer John Heslin, who is battling a hip flexor injury.
Heslin's St. Loman's team-mate Paul Sharry hasn't made himself available for selection this season, while Tommy McDaniel has been ruled out for the rest of the year after suffering a horrific facial injury while playing for Castleknock in the Dublin SFC recently.
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