Munster’s women’s Division One tips off this weekend with seven teams battling for the title following Catholic Institute’s promotion to the EYHL.
It makes for an intriguing campaign with UCC and Cork C of I set to contest EYHL2 in addition to the provincial competition.
The students were the best placed side last term and have Graham Catchpole on board as coach following an impressive year with Cork C of I, winning the Irish Hockey Trophy.
They have a couple of big additions, not least Irish Under-21 Caoimhe Perdue and fellow Irish Senior Cup winner from Harlequins, Saoirse Griffin. Miah Phelan Sweeney is also back after a year with Muckross in Dublin, adding to their options.
Their first date is against Ashton who have brought in Darren Wilkinson, the young coach who is developing a strong reputation. They will miss the services of Kate Harvey who heads to Pembroke.
Cork C of I host Bandon with the former welcoming South African man Andrew Fenske as coach. The west Cork outfit have Ingrid Burns and Olivia Roycroft back at the club after a number of seasons contesting for national silverware with Harlequins.
Limerick meet Belvedere – now coached by Eddie Kirwan – in Villiers in the other tie.
Munster Division 1 (Saturday): Cork C of I v Bandon, Garryduff, 12pm; Limerick v Belvedere, Villiers, 3pm; UCC v Ashton, Mardyke, 12pm
Coach: Darren Wilkinson
Players In: Kate Humphreys (Cork C of I), Orlaith Nation (UCC), Shauna Fagan (Returning to hockey)
Players Out: Kate Harvey (Pembroke), Kate Burke (Cork C of I), Rachel Kiernan (UCC)
Captain/Vice: Captain – Ailse Holland. Vices – Jen Levis and Emily Alice Daly.
Players to watch out for: Emma O’Sullivan and Ciara O’Toole
Rising Star: Elizabeth Tuohy
Coach’s Thoughts: “Last year’s top four finish was a step in the right direction for this team and this season we once again want to be competing at the top end of the table. This squad is full of potential and consists of a good mix of youth and experience. I’m looking forward to seeing what this group can achieve this season.”
Captain’s Thoughts: “Having finished in the top 4 last season, we’ll be looking to build on this in the league and also have a good run at the Irish Hockey Trophy. Our U16’s who have come up this year, Elizabeth and Heather, will add a new flare to the back line while our stalwarts, Cliodhna and Ann will feed our attack. Darren’s familiarity with the team, having been assistant coach last year, will be vital in achieving our goals this year.”
Coach: Ashley Smyth
Players In: Ingrid Burns, Olivia Roycroft & Stephanie Peters.
Players Out: Hannah Kate Finn
Captain: Ingrid Burns.
Players to watch out for: Jenny McLoughlin & Rachael Barry.
Rising Star: Amy Smyth
Coach’s Thoughts: “Last year was a rebuilding exercise and with a lot of hard work done at U16 level these young players are now breaking into Div 1, along with the return of experienced players this season is going to be very exciting. Having good numbers at every training is going to make match day squad selection very competitive this year.”
Captain’s Thoughts: “Let’s make this season a great success both as individual players to be more skilful by the end of the season and as a Team, a force to be reckoned with, whilst having fun.”
Coach: Eddie Kirwan
Players In: Emma O’Sullivan
Players Out: None
Captain: Aoife Barrett
Players to watch out for: Aoife Barrett
Rising Stars: Mary Holmes; Aideen Coleman
Coach’s Thoughts: “The aim for the season is to develop the young players coming through the youth set up whilst at the same time look at bridging the gap to the top sides. We are aiming for a top half of table finish.”
Cork C of I
Coach: Andrew Fenske (1st Season)
Players In: Steffi Bowe (Australia), Kate Burke (Ashton), Holly Lehane (UCC), Hannah Kate Finn (Bandon)
Players Out: Rebecca Kingston (UCC), Kirsty Coombes (UCD), Emily O’Hara (University of Edinburgh), Edel Coyne (Travelling), Holly Sweetnam (Work)
Captain: Hollie Moffett
Players to watch out for: Hannah Honner
Rising Star: Abi O’Mahony
Coach’s Thoughts: “Our main objective is to compete well in the clubs first year in the EYHL2 & we also aim to win the Munster league. Our team has been strengthened by the arrival of Kate Burke and Holly Lehane. We also have young talent in Hannah Kate Finn, Gill O’Leary and Siri Forde who will look to break into the squad.”
Coach: Graham Catchpole; Assistant: Paidi Hartnett; Manager: Colette Coomey; S & C Coach: Patrick Ryan
Players In: Caoimhe Perdue (Cork Harlequins), Saoirse Griffin (Cork Harlequins), Rebecca Kingston (Cork C of I), Elva Kerr (Killkenny College), Lorna McCutcheon (Back from a year out), Miah Phelan Sweeney (Muckross HC)
Players Out: Molly Doran
Captain/Vice: Judy Mills (Captain) – Lauren Ryan (Vice Captain)
Players to watch out for: Jenny Clein, Saoirse O’Leary, Hannah Humphreys
Rising Star: Elva Kerr, Saoirse Griffen, Rebecca Kingston
Coach’s Thoughts: “I’m looking forward to a busy season ahead with this exciting panel. The club has managed to attract some strong talent in and fortunately held on to most of its players from last season. As with any college side experience will be lacking but we will look to draw on our other strengths to overcome this. Preseason has been demanding on the girls but they have risen to the challenges presented before them. We are looking forward to getting the season started now and will take each game as it comes.”
Captain’s Thoughts: “Our challenge as always is to build a new team of new players at the beginning of the new season. With new talent joining us this year there is an extra expectation, but we are looking forward to getting our season started.”
Waterford: awaiting details
Limerick: awaiting details.