Tipperary LGFA News

January 20th 2019

Tipperary Ladies Face Challenging League

Tipperary Ladies Footballers face into a challenging league campaign as they prepare to play in Division 1 of the 2019 Lidl National League commencing on Februrary 3rd next. As 2018 Division 2 winners the side will play in the top flight of the league for the first time ever and will take on the giants of Ladies Gaelic Football in the form of Mayo, Dublin, Cork, Galway, Donegal, Monagahan and Westmeath. And while manager Shane Ronayne says that the side is excited about the campaign they also are very much aware of the challenges ahead.

‘This is an exciting campaign we will be playing against the top five counties in the country. And we will be hosting the reigning All-Ireland and National League Champions Dublin on February 10th next and we will also be playing in Pairc Ui Chaoimh against Cork on February 23rd but our eyes are wide open as to the challenges we face. We are already without Aisling McCarthy who is currently in Australia and Orla O’Dwyer has a shoulder injury hopefully both of these players will be back with us before the end of the league campaign”.

Speaking ahead of their opening game away to Mayo, Ronayne acknowledges that “it is a difficult opening round but this is where we want to be, up with the big teams”.

Looking ahead to that opening game he observes that Mayo have lost significant players in the last 12 months and will also be without Sarah Rowe who is currently on a five month contract playing with AFLW side Collingwood in Australia. However, Ronayne who led Mourneabbey to All Ireland Senior Club success in 2018, maintains that Mayo are still a formidable force. “They have lots of potential and they showed that last year.” Speaking about his own squad which features 39 players representing fourteen different clubs across the county he explained that they have introduced a number of young players into the squad and they have settled in well. He said he is also delighted with the mood in the camp and particularly to see last year’s debutants now stepping up to the mark and speaking up more at training sessions.

“The younger girls have invigorated the squad and the middle group are talking more now at training sessions and taking on more responsibility,” added Ronayne. He also acknowledges the need to maintain continuity and has opted to re instate Samantha Lambert as captain for her third season and Ballymcarby’s Lauren Fitzpatrick will this year be the new vice-captain. As regards Ronayne’s management team Tony Smith has remained but this year they will be joined by Ed Burke and Sarah Jane Burke. He also welcomed the appointment of James O’Leary as head of strength and conditioning.