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15 Irish stars selected for round one in Oz - with 10 in line for AFLW debuts

Dublin star Sinéad Goldrick is one of many set to make their debut as the 2020 season kicks off.

FIFTEEN IRISH STARS have been selected for round one of the 2020 Australian Football League Women’s [AFLW] season, with 10 of those set to make their competitive debuts. 

dublin-v-cork-tg4-all-ireland-ladies-senior-football-championship-semi-final Dublin star Sinéad Goldrick is in line for her AFLW debut. Source: Sam Barnes/SPORTSFILE

18 Irishwomen are on the books at Australian clubs for the season ahead, but Leitrim ace Áine Tighe has been ruled out with a severe knee injury. 

Five impressed last year, and all re-signed for the league’s fourth season. Mayo great and Greater Western Sydney [GWS] Giants ace Cora Staunton makes her full AFLW return after a horrendous triple-leg break and broken ankle sustained last May.

38-year-old Staunton starts at half-forward against Gold Coast, while Donegal ace Yvonne Bonner opens her second season in the AFLW on the GWS interchange bench. 

2019 Premier champion Ailish Considine of Clare does likewise for Adelaide Crows, while Tipperary All-Ireland winner Aisling McCarthy starts in her second season opener for Western Bulldogs and Mayo’s Sarah Rowe is among Collingwood’s interchanges. 

Dublin’s multiple All-Ireland winner and All-Star Sinéad Goldrick has been named for her AFLW debut with Melbourne, while Mayo midfielder Aileen Gilroy has been selected for North Melbourne on the other side of Saturday’s showdown.

Fermanagh native Joanne Doonan starts at half-forward for Carlton in the league’s 2020 opener against Richmond under Friday Night Lights at Ikon Park, while Tipperary dual star Orla O’Dwyer is on Brisbane’s interchange bench for their clash with defending champions Adelaide.

Cavan ace Aishling Sheridan joins Rowe among Collingwood’s interchanges, while Mayo Sister Act Niamh and Grace Kelly both start for their opposition and AFLW newcomers, West Coast Eagles.

Donegal defender Katy Herron is set for her bow from the Western Bulldogs bench as Down’s Clara Fitzpatrick starts for St Kilda in their face-off.

And Louth All-Ireland winning captain Kate Flood flies the Irish flag for Fremantle — in Tighe’s absence — in their opener against Geelong.

Galway’s Mairead Seoighe (North Melbourne) and Dublin star Niamh McEvoy (Melbourne FC) have been held in reserve this week, but should make their debuts in the coming rounds.

11 counties are represented across 11 clubs in the Australian league.

Friday, February 7

Richmond v Carlton, Ikon Park

Carlton
HF: Joanne Doonan (26)

Saturday, February 8

Greater Western Sydney v Gold Coast, Blacktown International Sportspark

Greater Western Sydney
HF:Cora Staunton (13)
I/C: Yvonne Bonner (27)

aflw-giants-cats Cora Staunton returns. Source: AAP/PA Images

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Melbourne v North Melbourne, Casey Fields

Melbourne
HB: Sinead Goldrick (23)

North Melbourne
I/C: Aileen Gilroy (8)

Brisbane v Adelaide, Hickey Park

Brisbane
I/C: Orla O’Dwyer (9)

Adelaide
I/C: Ailish Considine (16)

Sunday, February 9

Collingwood v West Coast, Victoria Park

Collingwood
I/C: Sarah Rowe (7)
I/C: Aishling Sheridan (14)

West Coast
C: Niamh Kelly (12)
F: Grace Kelly (15)

St Kilda v Western Bulldogs, RSEA Park

St Kilda
B: Clara Fitzpatrick (24)

Western Bulldogs
Foll: Aisling McCarthy (15)
I/C: Katy Herron (31)

Fremantle v Geelong, Fremantle Oval

Fremantle
C: Kate Flood (44).

- You can watch games on the AFLW app, while some of them are also streamed live on AFL.com.au, womens.afl or on the club’s Facebook pages. 7Plus and FOX FOOTY in Australia also show matches.

- Full fixture list with times here.

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About the author:

Emma Duffy

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