Clare’s Ladies Footballers will get their 2015 season off the ground this weekend when they travel to Kingspan Breffni Park to take on Cavan in the first game of the 2015 National League.
Managed by John Burke who is now in his third year, Clare will be hoping that the long distance will not affect their performance. The Banner ladies had a mixed 2014 which saw them bow out at the qualifier stage while they failed to make the semi-finals of the league but they did retain their status in Division 2.
There has been an influx of new additions to Burke’s setup for the year ahead. Strength and Conditioning is an area that the side have been working on since regrouping in mid December. Aimee McInerney, Stephen Cusack and Martin Crowley are overseeing the strength and conditioning training and the trio are the owners of new business Titan Strength Fitness Nutrition.
Martin Nolan and Martin Sexton will serve as Burke’s selectors for the upcoming campaign. Despite being just twenty one years old, Laurie Ryan of the Banner Ladies is one of the most experienced players on the panel and Ryan has been awarded the captaincy for 2015.
Niamh O’Dea a native of Kilfenora has been one of the most promising Ladies Footballers for Clare since bursting onto the scene for the county minors at the age of sixteen. However O’Dea will be travelling over the summer months and will be unavailable for John Burke’s charges and will be a massive loss.
Other key players that will be unavailable to the Clare management team include Irish hockey international, Naomi Carroll. Fiona Laffery has decided to concentrate solely on camogie for the year ahead which is a boost to Colm Honan’s camogie side but is a further blow to John Burke’s charges.
With such an amount of important players not involved, John Burke and his management have been forced to call up a host of younger players as his side aim to retain their Division 2 status in the league.
Clare will be relying on Eimear Considine, Eimear O’Connor, Clare Hester, Ailish Considine, Aoife Keane, Laurie Ryan and Marie Considine to lead by example in this tie. Throw in for Sunday’s league opener is at 14:00 in Kingspan Breffni Park, Cavan with Laois man Kevin Phelan taking charge of proceedings.
Aoife Keane (Banner Ladies), Orlaith Lynch (Banner Ladies), Aoibheann Malone (Banner Ladies), Grainne Nolan (Banner Ladies), Niamh O’Brien (Banner Ladies), Sinead Quinn (Banner Ladies), Laurie Ryan (Banner Ladies), Louise Woods (Banner Ladies), Roisin Howley (Burren Gaels), Kayleigh McCormack (Burren Gaels), Amy O’Brien (Burren Gaels), Eimear O’Connor (Coolmeen), Elaine Kelly (Cooraclare), Roisin O’Looney (Cooraclare), Orla Devitt (Éire Óg), Shauna Keane (Éire Óg), Aoife O’Neill (Éire Óg), Clare Hester (Fergus Rovers), Sarah Browne (Kilmihil), Ailish Considine (Kilmihil), Eimear Considine (Kilmihil), Kate Coughlan (Kilmihil), Laura Egan (Kilmihil), Becky Mahon (Kilmihil), Ellie O’Gorman (Kilmihil), Marie Considine (Liscannor), Roisin Considine (Liscannor), Eimear Hillery (Liscannor), Roisin Rouine (Liscannor), Carol O’Leary (Newmarket-on-Fergus), Ciara Cahill (St Josephs Doora/Barefield), Aislinn Meaney (St Josephs Doora/Barefield), Fiona Tuohy (St Josephs Doora/Barefield), Therese Hartley (West Clare Gaels), Grainne Harvey (West Clare Gaels), Shauna Harvey (West Clare Gaels).