Westmeath now optimistic of star forward’s return for league campaign

A WEEK AFTER appearing to rule John Heslin out of his plans for the foreseeable future, Westmeath manager Jack Cooney has indicated that the star forward may feature next season after all. 

Cooney stated last week that the St Loman’s clubman would not be available to Westmeath in 2019 due to his PhD studies, but he was more optimistic of a potential return following the county’s O’Byrne Cup win over Carlow on Sunday. 

“John is finishing his PhD and that will be finished in mid-January. He’s under enough pressure with that,” Cooney told the Westmeath Independent.

“That’s the culmination of four or five years hard work. He’s working away on his own and the plan is that he will be coming back in after that.”

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Cooney will definitely be without Athlone’s Ray Connellan, who recently signed a 12-month contract with AFL side Essendon.

Connellan spent two years playing in the Victoria Football League (VFL) with St Kilda, but was released by the Melbourne outfit in August.

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He lined out with his club in the Westmeath SFC after returning home, but will head back down under in an attempt to establish himself in Aussie Rules.

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