Ken Sutton/INPHO Davy Nelson is a renowned GAA coach in Meath.
# ladies football team news
7 All-Ireland survivors as new Meath manager names team, Dublin debut for ex-Leitrim player
Mayo, meanwhile, have some big-name returnees for their Division 1 opener against Cork.

NEW MEATH LADIES football manager Davy Nelson has named his first team ahead of tomorrow’s Lidl National League Division 1 opener against arch-rivals Dublin.

The Royals, 2022 double champions, will have seven All-Ireland final survivors on show at DCU St Clare’s [throw-in 5.15pm, live on TG4], with goalkeeper Monica McGuirk, captain Shauna Ennis, Mary Kate Lynch, Katie Newe, Aoibhín Cleary, Máire O’Shaughnessy and Megan Thynne all named to start. Camogie star Aoife Minogue lines out in midfield.

Other key players such as Stacey Grimes and Niamh O’Sullivan are named on the bench as Meath begin life after Eamonn Murray. Defensive duo Emma Troy and Aoibheann Leahy (travelling) are unavailable for the year, but AFLW duo Vikki Wall and Orlagh Lally should return at some point.

Dublin, meanwhile, field a new-look team, with debuts handed out to former Leitrim player Eilis O’Dowd and 2022 minor star Niamh Crowley. Captain Carla Rowe, Leah Caffrey and Hannah Tyrrell are among the more experienced starters, while Mick Bohan has named no fewer than 11 newcomers among the subs.

Recent first-choice goalkeeper Ciara Trant is among the many absentees, with her recent understudy Abby Shiels held in reserve and Emer Ní Éafa getting her chance between the posts.

Galway and Donegal open the 2023 inter-county season earlier on Saturday, when they meet at Tuam Stadium. Both sides will be without a host of big names; Galway minus most of their Kilkerrin-Clonberne contingent, though recent club All-Ireland winner Lynsey Noone does start, while Donegal don’t have the services of ’22 Player of the Year Niamh McLaughlin (injury), Geraldine McLaughlin, Yvonne Bonner and Karen Guthrie just yet.

Shannon McGroddy returns to the set-up with several players in line for debuts.

Mayo will be without most of their AFLW crew as they open their campaign at home to Cork on Sunday, but Geelong star Rachel Kearns does start at full-forward. There’s further welcome returns for former captain Sarah Tierney, Deirdre Doherty and Clodagh McManamon, the latter starting in midfield. 

The Rebels, meanwhile, have had several player departures through the off-season, and Shane Ronayne has named a much-changed team for this clash, a repeat of last year’s All-Ireland quarter-final won by the Green and Red.

Emma Cleary, daughter of former Cork senior footballer and current manager, John captains the side, while AFLW star Erika O’Shea starts in midfield with the Kiely twins, Daire and Emer, also back on board. Hannah Looney, Melissa Duggan, Eimear Meaney and Libby Coppinger are among their most experienced starters.

And Kerry have named seven All-Ireland final survivors in the team to face Waterford as they return to Division 1 football on Sunday in Piltown. Eilís Lynch, Kayleigh Cronin, Aishling O’Connell, Lorraine Scanlon, Niamh Carmody, new captain Síofra O’Shea and Danielle O’Leary all start, with Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh among the big names missing.

emma-duggan-scores-a-goal-despite-the-efforts-of-louise-galvin-and-aisling-oconnell Brian Reilly-Troy / INPHO Louise Galvin (10) starts for Kerry. Brian Reilly-Troy / INPHO / INPHO

Former Irish rugby and basketball star Louise Galvin is also in from the get-go, having been involved as a substitute last year after the birth of her son, while Hannah O’Donoghue returns to the starting line-up after missing last summer due to a J1.

The Déise, who preserved their top-flight status in league and championship with relegation play-off wins in 2022, have also shown their hand. Captain Karen McGrath is named on the bench, with the four Murray sisters involved, and Aoife, Emma and Cora due to start.

Galway v Donegal — Saturday, 2pm, Tuam Stadium (LGFA Player)

Galway (v Donegal): A Griffin; B Quinn, S Ní Loinsigh (capt.), E Gavin; C Cooney, K Geraghty, S Brennan; A Davoren, C Cleary; L Coen, K Slevin, A Molloy; A O’Rourke, R Leonard, L Noone.

Donegal (v Galway): A McColgan; N Carr, E McGinley, E Gallagher (capt.); A Boyle Carr, Nicole McLaughlin, T Hegarty; S Twohig, R Rodgers; S Boyle, K Long, L Ryan; K Gillespie, S McGroddy, C McGarvey.

Dublin v Meath — Saturday, 5.15pm, DCU St Clare’s (TG4)

Dublin (v Meath): E Ní Eafa; N Crowley, R Brennan, J Tobin; L Caffrey, D Lawless, M Byrne; J Dunne, E O’Dowd; O Nolan, C Rowe (capt.), E Gribben; C O’Connor, H Tyrrell, J Egan.

Meath (v Dublin): M McGuirk; S Ennis (capt.), M.K. Lynch, K Newe; N Gallogly, A Cleary, M O’Shaughnessy; A Minogue, A McCabe; A Sheridan, A Farrell, A Leahy; M Thynne, M Byrne, C Smyth.

Mayo v Cork — Sunday, 1.30pm, Connacht Centre of Excellence (LGFA Player)

Mayo (v Cork): L Brennan; É Ronayne, R Flynn, D Caldwell; C Needham, F McHale, K Sullivan (capt.); C McManamon, H Reape; E Reape, S Cafferky, S Howley; L Cafferky, T Needham, R Kearns.

Cork (v Mayo): M O’Sullivan; S Kelly, E Meaney, D Kiniry; A Healy, H Looney, M Duggan; S Leahy, E O’Shea; E Cleary (capt.), R Leahy, D Kiely; L Coppinger, E Kiely, A Ring.

Waterford v Kerry — Sunday, 2pm, Piltown (LGFA Player)

Waterford (v Kerry): E O’Brien; K McGrath, M Dunford, A Murray, E Power, E Murray, H Power; K Hogan, A Waring; A O’Neill, B McMaugh, C McCarthy; A Fitzgerald, L McGregor, S McGuckian.

Kerry (v Waterford): M.E. Bolger; E Lynch, K Cronin, A Dillane; N Broderick, A O’Connell, L Galvin; L Scanlon, M O’Connell; N Carmody, S O’Shea (capt.), C Evans, N Ní Chonchúir, D O’Leary, H O’Donoghue.

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