The loss of Elaine Brommel, Stephanie Hall and international keeper Mary Goode have been largely assuaged by the promotion from within of the quartet of youngsters Hayley O’Donnell, Alice Walsh, Orla Fox and Noelle Farrell.
The main difference, though, is having full usage of Louisa Moore. The South-African born Irish international has taken time out from the national setup as she aims to get more settled in her new surrounds.
Moore arrived in Dublin last December but was given little time to acclimatise given the hectic training schedule in preparation for the Olympic qualifiers. Her goals have been a big factor and coach Natalie Fulton feels that the focus on club hockey has been a definite boost to help Moore feel more at home.
As for the start to the season, Fulton adds “It been a great start. Everyone who is playing is really enjoying it and that’s half the battle but we’re just taking it step by step and focus on each game.
Jane Coyne has stepped in between the posts and was excellent in the IHL game against Armagh and the keeper is one of three ex-Railway players – along with Aoife O’Gorman and Shona Doyle – to take the field on Saturday.
Mick McKinnon’s side have a 100pc record thus far and look the team to beat, with Emma Smith back in form after her travels.
Elsewhere, UCD hope they do not suffer a post varsities hangover against Corinthian – who will hope Sarah Walker has recovered from the niggle that kept her out of the Loreto game. Plenty of former Trinity players will meet their alma mater at the new pitches in Milltown. Loreto take on former colleague Sarah Scott as Bray visit Belfield.
Women’s Division One
Saturday: Corinthian v UCD, 12.45pm, St. Columba’s College; Hermes v Glenanne, 12pm, St Andrews; Loreto v Bray, 2pm, Beaufort; Old Alex v Trinity, TBC, Alexandra College; Railway Union v Pembroke, 3pm, Park Avenue