The anticipation has been building rapidly in Carlow ahead of their Leinster championship opener against Louth on May 13th, after an historic league campaign which saw the scallion eaters promoted to Division 3 football.
Unfortunately for the Carlow faithful, their ambitions have been dealt a huge blow before a ball has even been kicked with the news that Brendan Murphy will not be available for the 2018 championship campaign.
The veteran star has instead decided to travel to the United States.
Carlow manager Turlough O’ Brien described the loss of Murphy as “disappointing”, but wished the 29-year-old midfielder the best of luck on his travels when he spoke to the Irish Independent.
Murphy, who has been one of the outstanding midfielders in the country for over a decade, will be a significant loss to a team who are very much on the up.
Although the task may be a bit more difficult come May 13th, it would be unwise to bet against a Carlow team that is brimming with confidence.