New season and ten new-look squads begin their men’s Leinster division one campaign after an extremely busy summer of transfer dealings as the chasing pack attempt to close the gap to Monkstown, winners last year after a 40-year wait.The Rathdown club and Three Rock Rovers shared the four big titles last season – winning a pair each – and both have had bits and pieces of turnover in their panel but nothing wholescale.
Pembroke, however, have suffered some big blows with Irish internationals Conor Harte and Alan Sothern departing for contracts with Racing Club de Bruxelles in Belgium but more imports of Sutton and Cork origin will plug those gaps.
Railway Union look most likely to push them and claim the fourth spot, casting the net wide to bring in some intriguing additions to go with their solid core for David Bane’s debut year in charge.
With UCD suffering a big turnover of quality players – including Nick Burns, Shane O’Donoghue and Peter Brown – they are in rebuilding mode. Corinthian, with their four South Africans of last season returning home, have a predominantly local look to their panel with Trevor Dagg taking the coach’s role after two seasons under Brendon Carolan.
Glenanne, therefore, will sniff a chance to get back into the top five as a result with a panel bolstered by Mick McGuinness and Enda Tucker – returning for second spells with the club – along with Polish international keeper Lukasz Domachewski.
YMCA have strengthened their lot with four southern hemisphere imports while David Robinson returns but have a youthful look with only one player over 23.
It should keep them clear of the danger zone, an area that Rathgar and Avoca will be anxious to avoid. The former have some scoring issues to address since the departure of Lennart Bakker while Avoca have an extremely young panel under Mark Cullen – in charge for a fifth season – but have managed a packed preseason to get them up to speed after short-notice promotion.
To see the full breakdown of how this has affected each of the division one sides, check out our bumper team-by-team preview below to see all the comings and goings!
* THREE ROCK ROVERS – Just two seasons since recording their worst-ever performance in Leinster’s division one, Rovers bounced back brilliantly to land two cups last season and record a best league finish since 2007/08.