THE return of recently-retired Mayo footballer Keith Higgins to the county senior hurling squad for the season ahead will be ‘absolutely huge’, according to Mayo boss Derek Walsh.
The Ballyhaunis dual star hasn’t hurled with Mayo for the last two seasons due to his inter-county football commitments, but Walsh said last week that Higgins has indicated that he would like to return to the hurling fold for 2021.
“I was chatting to Keith earlier this week,” Derek Walsh told The Mayo News. “He told me that he would like to join us. We haven’t the panel finalised yet but if he does join he’ll be an absolutely huge addition.
“He’s a natural leader. You would not hear him roaring and shouting out in the street, but he is vocal in the dressing, talking to lads, giving them advice on how to prepare properly, what you should be doing outside training to make sure you’re the best you can be.
“He has the experience. He has been there and worn the t-shirt and he would be a huge addition to us. He’ll be absolutely brilliant for everyone on the panel.”
Higgins, who will be 36 later this month, has made 91 appearances for the Mayo hurlers between league and championship since he made his debut in 2001 at just 16 years of age.
He won his 13th Mayo SHC medal last Autumn with Ballyhaunis and only last week spoke of his ‘passion’ for hurling.
“I told Derek Walsh that as long as I was able to give it a go I’d come back in with them,” he told RTE’s ‘Game On’. “It’s always been a passion of mine to play hurling as well.”