In particular, Kilkenny from the Pearses club was in flying form, showing plenty of early season form.
“”Training is going well,”” she explained. “”We are back together awhile, the last few weeks were interrupted by College training, but other than that we are looking forward to the opening round of the league.
“”We have a few girls back this year, which is a big boost to Liam Donoghue (manager). Regina Glynn and Brenda Hanney have returned. Both these girls were travelling last year. We have a few more names in as well, so there is fair competition for places.””
Veronica Curtin has decided to call it a day following her unstinted service to the Maroon and White jersey, while her husband Damien Coleman has also stepped down from the backroom team.
Donoghue is joined by Anne Broderick – part of his setup from last year – Anne is a sister of former All-Star Kevin Broderick. The rest of his high profile team includes Carnmore’s Declan Walsh, and Barry Downey who guided Cortoon Shamrocks to their first Galway senior football final last year, and Seamie Crowe.
Meanwhile, Kilkenny boss Ann Downey will have been especially impressed with the character shown by her players last weekend as WIT edged past UCD to Ashbourne Cup glory. The Cats, who are the reigning National League champions, play Dublin in the other Division One fixture.
WIT owes much of its success to the hard graft of the Black and Amber players, Captain Keeva Fennelly from the Ballyhale/Shamrocks club, who performed steadily in defence alongside Aine Fahy and Kelly-Anne Cottrell. Freshford’s Ann Dalton was a colossus at midfield and is certainly a player to watch for this season, while the attacking power of Collette Dormer, Jenny Simpson and Michelle Quilty up front was very encouraging.
Elsewhere, All Ireland champions of two years ago, Wexford will have to plan this year without Brona Furlong. The Slaney Olympic athlete has been selected by Athletics Ireland for the European Indoor championships in Turin, Italy on March 6-8. The 21-year-old who is trained by Jim Kilty had an excellent indoor season in 2008 when she took the 400m national title has decided to concentrate solely on athletics this year.