Dublin Junior Panel Set Sights on Championship by Irene Kirwan
Following some tough lessons learnt during the league campaign the second Dublin adult team commenced training for the New Ireland Championship on Sunday morning. The squad’s sights are now firmly set on their June 20th championship clash with Division 2 League winners Down which will be played in Co. Down.
Down are a formidable side including Allstar MairÝn McAleenan and seasoned performers such as Sarah Louise Carr and captain Catherine McGourty. However, the management of the Dublin squad have been delighted the recent response to their approach to more club players to don the county colours.
“”During the league we put out a predominantly U18 side who acquitted themselves reasonably well against the top teams from Meath, Down, Offaly, Laois and Armagh. However, it was always our intention to call more experienced players into the squad for the championship””, said manager Pat Duncan.
Talented and committed individuals such as Eve Talbot, Kirsten Farrell (Good Counsel), Aisling Brogan, Emer Brogan (Oliver Plunketts), Leanne Kennedy (St. Marks), Grainne Power (Portmarnock), Norah Kirby (Thomas Davis) and Susan Kennedy (Ballyboden) are just some of players who are widely acknowledged to be the top performers in their clubs and who have signed up to the squad. The challenge for the management team of Pat Duncan, Paul Beecher and Irene Kirwan is now to blend these together with the vast amount of younger talent coming up through the ranks.
Some of the U18 players who performed consistently well during the league and who can build on that experience as they go forward are Rachel Costello (Naomh Fionnbarra), Niamh Garahan, Roisin Murphy (Na Fianna), Mairi Moynihan (Lucan Sarsfields), Jane Nolan, Aoife O’Leary (Ballyboden), Aisling Fogarty and Jenny Russell (St. Vincents).
“”We have a strong squad but we are not finished recruiting yet. There are a number of players still considering their options due to club and work commitments. There are also some players who have stepped down from the Senior squad whom we would love to have, or who stopped playing county recently but still have a whole lot to offer.””
The quest for the New Ireland championship has begun in earnest. The squad train again on Wednesday evening at 7pm in the Phoenix Park.