Cavan won their 10th Sean Faherty title last season. However, they enter the new season without the services of several players, including the Bennett sisters, Aine Cullen and Louise McKeever. They have recruited up-and-coming Aimee Gomez, who appears comfortable at this level alongside Allison Traynor. They also have Orla Cullan from Offaly joining there ranks as they push ahead for yet another title.
Mayo has emerged from the winter months relatively unscathed — and faces a new year with much optimism. They will go in search of their third championship with confidence despite losing Denise Dunnion to Kerry-Donegal. Otherwise, the team remains much the same as last year, with the experienced Fiona Ward, Joanne Monaghan, Elaine O’Donovan, Lynda Donnelly and the McKenna, Fox and McGrail sisters all on board for another season. Mayo native Edel Reilly has also joined the panel.
Na Fianna came close to winning the Annie Kearney cup last year with a very spirited display. They will be without the services of their most influential player, Lorraine Leacy, but as in past seasons they will continue to harvest new players to the game.
Kerry-Donegal has dropped the Kerry D Gold name but has managed to pick up a lot of new faces. Denise Dunnion, Sue Bennett, Clare Bennett and Shivaun Neville are all interclub transfers, and add to an already impressive panel of players that includes a good mix of experience as well as a number of young Minor Board graduates.
Monaghan last year won their first silverware in some time with The Peter Connaughton Cup final. They have been boosted by the addition of Bernie Tuohey, who, along with her sister Mena, will strengthen the team.
Rockland are a team rebuilding with a huge push in their underage program. They probably have the biggest supply of players but will need a big effort on the part of the club to bring these players to senior level. They have a strong midfield with Jenny Kirby and veteran players like Ann-Marie Maye, Pauline O’Connor and Cathy Dunleavy.
Fermanagh continue to build on last year’s improvements, and with the return of Caroline Murphy, Aisling Boyle alongside minor board players Fiona O’Dwyer, Natasha McGlade and Tara Mahon, they continue to be progressive and recruit most of their players stateside.
An interesting rule change in ladies football is the introduction of the sin bin at all levels. A player receiving a yellow card will be forced to leave the field for 10 minutes.
This weekend brings three games at Rockland: 1 p.m., Monaghan vs. Na Fianna; 2:30 Cavan vs. Rockland; 4, Kerry-Donegal vs. Mayo.