The season starts here – men’s Leinster Division One preview

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.

Monkstown will be hoping to celebrate a second title after breaking a 32-year duck

Monkstown will be hoping to celebrate a second title after breaking a 32-year duck

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!

* AVOCA – Promoted at short notice, Mark Cullen’s bootboys have nonetheless managed an intensive enough preseason

* CORINTHIAN – With their quartet of South Africans of last season not returning, Corinthian have a much more home-grown look for the upcoming season for Trevor Dagg’s first year in charge.

* GLENANNE – With Gareth Carragher moving to Nottingham for his studies, Glenanne have added off a fine replacement between the posts in the form of Polish international Lukasz Domachowski

* MONKSTOWN – The Irish Hockey League champions finally landed the Leinster men’s division one title last season after 32 years with a come-from-behind win over Glenanne last February

* PEMBROKE – Four quality players out, three good replacements thus far for Pembroke as they look to break up last season’s top two of Monkstown and Three Rock in the Leinster league

* RAILWAY UNION – Having nicked the fifth Irish Hockey League spot, Railway Union have grown their squad considerably with a couple of interesting new arrivals.  

* RATHGAR – Tricky second season for the Chiefs, they will be hoping they can avoid the danger of a relegation playoff in their second season in the top tier.

* 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.

* UCD – It has been a tricky off-season for the students with seven first string players, including a trio of internationals moving on.

* YMCA – After a difficult last season, YM look to have done decent work to rebuild their panel after a number of departures.

Men's Leinster Senior Div 1