The downlow ahead of the Lidl Ladies Football National League

THIS weekend Cork open their defence of the Division 1 Ladies Football National League title, but with Eamonn Ryan now with their male counterparts, perhaps there’s room for new champions.

Bar Dublin, Mayo and Kerry, every other team in the top division has undergone a change in management for the 2016 season, so this newly Lidl-sponsored NFL campaign could be one of the most intriguing in recent seasons.

Below is a rundown of who’s who as the league gets underway today.

KERRY

Captain: Aislinn Desmond

Manager:  Alan O’Neill

Management team:  Harry O’Neill, Mary Jo Curran, Sean O’Sullivan and Mags Fitzgerald.

How did the team perform in 2015 NFL? Returned to Division 1 for the first time since 2010, Kerry had a good run in the National League, winning five out of their seven games.  Kerry faced Cork in the semi-final, but the reigning champions won by three points.

How did the team perform in the 2015 Championship? Kerry won the Munster Championship when they defeated Cork by nine points in Mallow. Kerry beat Mayo in the All-Ireland quarter-final, however were beaten by Cork 4-14 to 0-13 in the All-Ireland semi-final.

Players in for 2016: Kate O’ Sullivan, Anna Galvin, Elaine O’ Sullivan , Aileen Sheehan and Caoimhe O’ Sullivan.

Players out for 2016: Cait lynch (Going to Amsterdam to work with Bord Bia), Louise Galvin (Ireland rugby 7s commitments), Bernie Cronin (work commitments) Eilis and Brid O’Connor, Laura Fitzgerald, Megan Buckley, Deirdre Kearney, Leanne Mangan (all travelling).

Players to look out for in 2016: Lorraine Scanlon , Anna Galvin and Aislinn Desmond.

 

MONAGHAN

Captain: To be confirmed

Coach: Dwaine McCarey

Manager: Former Meath boss Paula Cunningham (087-6950100)

How did the team perform in 2015 NFL? Beat Cork, Laois, Mayo and Tyrone, but lost to Dublin, Galway and Kerry.

How did the team perform in the 2015 Championship? Lost the Ulster final to Donegal, beat Cavan in the qualifiers, but lost to Dublin in the All-Ireland quarter-final.

Players in for 2016: Trials are on-going.

Players out for 2016: To be confirmed.

Top performer in 2015: Ciara McAnespie.

Player to look out for in 2016: Muireann Atkinson.

 

DUBLIN

Captain: To be confirmed shortly.

Coach: Gregory McGonigle.

Management team: Bobby McNulty, Ray Boyne, Kathleen Colreavy and Paul  Kennedy.

How did the team perform in 2015 NFL? Lost to Galway in the Division 1 National League semi-final.

How did the team perform in the 2015 Championship? Lost to Cork in All-Ireland final, but won Leinster title for fourth year in-a-row.

Players in for 2016: Sinead Aherne, Amy Ring, Siobhan Woods, Martha Byrne, Deirdre Murphy, Leah Caffrey and Lauren Magee.

Players out for 2016: Hannah Noonan, due to travelling.

Top performer in 2015: Lyndsey Davey.

Player to look out for in 2016: Nicole Owens.

 

CORK

Captain: Ciara O’Sullivan.

Coach: Ephie Fitzgerald.

Management team: Bridget O’Brien, Pat O’Leary and Frankie Honohan.

How did the team perform in 2015 NFL? Won the title, beating Galway in a replay by a point in the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick. Lost to Dublin on route to the league final, but overcame Kerry in the semi-final, before being put to the sword by Galway.

How did the team perform in the 2015 Championship? Suffered their biggest championship defeat in 11 years when losing the Munster Dairygold Cup to Kerry in Mallow by nine points. However, overcame Meath in the qualifiers, Galway in the quarter-final, Kerry in the semi, and Dublin in the final to win the Brendan Martin Cup for the tenth time in 11 years.

Players in for 2016: To be confirmed.

Players out for 2016: To be confirmed.

Top performer in 2015: Vera Foley

Player to look out for in 2016: Kate Leneghan

 

ARMAGH

Captain: Máiread Tennyson

Coach: Former Armagh player Ronan Clarke

Management team: Ronan Clarke, Lisa Woods, Conor Clarke and Sinead Reel

How did the team perform in 2015 NFL? Won the Division 2 league title.

How did the team perform in the 2015 Championship? Reached the All-Ireland semi-final, however on the day were poor by their own standards and were defeated by a hugely energetic Dublin side.

Players in for 2016: To be confirmed.

Players out for 2016: Caoimhe Mohan (pregnant)

Top performer in 2015: Caroline O’Hanlon, Aoife McCoy and Aimee Mackin.

Player to look out for in 2016: Sinéad McCleary, Sharon Reel and Niamh Marley.

GALWAY
Captain: Tracey Leonard
Manager: Willie Ward
Management team: Johnny Carter,  Ann Caffrey,  Dave Mullally,  Martina Cummins.
How did the team perform in 2015 NFL? Lost only to Cork in round robin series, drew with Dublin and won all their other games to qualify for semi-final where we beat Dublin. Drew with Cork in league final, however lost replay by one point.
How did the team perform in the 2015 Championship? Beat Mayo to win fourth Connacht title in a row. Lost by two points Cork in quarter-final after conceding a goal in the first minute.
Players in for 2016:  Shauna Hynes and Megan Glynn, Megan Heneghan and Aisling Walsh.
Players out for 2016: Annette Clarke (retired), Lucy Hannon (work commitments), Mairead Coyne (international rugby) and Ailish Gannon (abroad).
Top performer in 2015: Tracey Leonard.
Player to look out for in 2016: Megan Glynn.

TYRONE

Captain: Neamh Woods

Coach: Interim coach former player Eilish Gormley has been appointed.

Management team: Not yet finalised.

How did the team perform in 2015 NFL? The National league saw Tyrone claim just one victory, over a poor Laois on the last day of the season. They did perform well in several games though, unlucky not to get something from a home game against Kerry and they shot thirteen wides against Mayo in Swinford.

How did the team perform in the 2015 Championship? An extra time win over an emerging Cavan in the Ulster quarter-final was the highlight, beaten then by Donegal in the Ulster semi-final before losing to the Cora Staunton-inspired Mayo in the qualifiers.
Players in for 2016:  Squad not yet finalised.
Players out for 2016: Nothing confirmed yet, but Cathy Donnelly may not be returning as she has indicated that she may be stepping aside, given injury last year and is planning a wedding this year.
Top performer in 2015: Omagh’s Christiane Hunter.
Player to look out for in 2016: Siobhan Sheerin.

MAYO

Captain: Sarah Tierney
Manager: Frank Browne
Management team:  Michael McHale, David O’Malley, D.J. Collins, Paul Webb, Richie Casey, John Gannon, Derek Walsh, Sinead O’Donohue, Laura Higgins and Brendan Fitzpatrick (physio).
How did the team perform in 2015 NFL? Mayo had a good run in the National League but missed out on a semi-final spot.
How did the team perform in the 2015 Championship? Lost by a point to Galway in a keenly contested Connacht final.  Beaten by Kerry in the All-Ireland quarter-final.
Players in for 2016:  To be confirmed.
Players out for 2016: To be confirmed.
Top Performer in 2015: Cora Staunton.
Players to look out for in 2016: Sarah Tierney, Sarah Rowe and Aileen Gilroy.

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