It’s a fresh start for the Mayo women footballers this weekend.
They take the field at MacHale Park on Saturday evening for an opening round clash in Division 1A of the LGFA National League, a match that throws in at 7.30pm and which will be broadcast live on TG4, with live radio commentary on Midwest as well.
It’s the women’s first competitive outing under the stewardship of new manager Michael Moyles. It’s also the first game for the team since that pointless, self-defeating rift with Carnacon was finally healed. There’s no point re-litigating everything that happened there but it’s certainly to be warmly welcomed that this damaging split is over with and that players from Carnacon will once again line out for the county team.
Colm Gannon in the Mayo Advertiser has an interview piece (here) with Michael Moyles. In it, the Crossmolina man reflects on how the preparations have been going for the new season and how, for all the players involved this year, it’s “just about Mayo.” That’s definitely good to hear.
In a piece for the Mayo News this week (here), Mike Finnerty name-checks three players to watch out for on Saturday evening and top of his list is midfielder Fiona McHale. It’s three years since the former All-Star lined out for her county and her return will immediately strengthen the team in the middle of the park.
In that same piece, by the way, Mike makes it clear that those expecting to see an injection of power from those players who spent the early part of the year playing AFLW Down Under are set to be largely disappointed. Niamh Kelly will be available for selection on Saturday alright – and it’ll be great to see her in action on this side of the world after her exploits in Australia – but her sister Grace isn’t fit to play and neither is Sarah Rowe. Aileen Gilroy, meanwhile, has opted out of the inter-county squad this year.
Lisa Cafferkey is raring to go for another year and she spoke with Edwin McGreal in the Mayo News (here) about funding and facilities for ladies’ teams and why supporting Mayo should mean supporting all Mayo teams. Quite right too.
Galway, meanwhile, are also under new management this year, with Gerry Fahy now in charge of them. On the RTÉ website, Clara Hester has a in-depth piece focusing on Galway as they prepare for another year’s football – that’s here.
Finally, the draws for this summer’s LGFA Championships were held tonight. We’ve been drawn in Group A of the Senior Championship along with Armagh, Cavan and Monaghan. Full details on the Senior Championship draw are here.