Last season: Leinster league winners, ISC final, IHL group phase, Mills Cup quarter-final, Neville Cup finalists
In: Patrick Shanahan (UCD), Conor Harte (SCHC), Glen Shekleton (Fingal), Andrew Shekleton (Fingal), Simon McKeever (Fingal), Scott Sullivan (Bandon), David Harvey (Cork C of I)
Out: Kirk Shimmins (UCD), Paddy Conlon (retired)
The lowdown: Conor Harte’s return to Dublin is the big signing from a large number of new arrivals at Serpentine Avenue with the Dublin 4 club becoming an enclave of Cork.
His ability to control the centre of the defence, allied to a powerful drag-flick and power-slap designed to cause havoc from frees add plenty of new options. It provides a good foil to the prolific Alan Sothern, with 57 goals last teams. Another half dozen arrivals
The current concern comes on the coaching front. Paddy Conlon stepped down due to increased work commitments and they have yet to find a full-time replacement. Last year’s assistant Mick McKinnon has also stepped away following the birth of his first child and an appointment as the Irish men’s assistant coach.
Dave Passmore has been helping with sessions in the last fortnight but has limited availability on weekends at the moment, meaning the search for Conlon’s successor is ongoing. It also leaves them short a midfield option, an issue exacerbated by the dynamic Kirk Shimmins’ UCD move.
Nonetheless, this is a squad with plenty of know-how. Patrick Shanahan can slot in there while fellow Bandon native Scott Sullivan – after a year in Australia – is a tidy operator.
Tim Hill is back in Ireland after a stint working abroad, adding a lively presence up front and Patrick Good is training after a year out injured. Adam Pritchard is a steadying hand at the back, captaining the side once again.
Game two against Three Rock will go a long way to showing whether this year’s crop can repeat last year’s league success.
First three games: Sept 14 – YMCA (a); Sept 21 – Three Rock Rovers (h); Sept 28 – Glenanne (a)