Donegal ladies manager Maxi Curran has named a new-look side for tomorrow’s Lidl National Football League Division 1 opener against Dublin at Croke Park (5pm, eir Sport).
Curran has six players listed who started Donegal’s last competitive fixture – the 2018 TG4 All-Ireland semi-final loss to Cork.
All Star Treasa Doherty, Nicole McLaughlin, Katy Herron, Niamh Hegarty, skipper Karen Guthrie and ace scorer Geraldine McLaughlin will bring much-needed experience to Croke Park on Saturday evening.
Donegal are without the services of Yvonne Bonner, who is on a stint with the Greater Western Sydney Giants in the Australian Women’s AFL – and who will make her debut this weekend.
Former Republic of Ireland soccer international Ciara Grant is included in the first XV, as is current Irish international Amy Boyle-Carr and newcomers such as Aisling Nee and Megan Ryan.
Dublin manager Mick Bohan has named eight of the team that lined out in last September’s TG4 All-Ireland Senior Final victory over Cork
With captain Sinéad Aherne not listed in the matchday squad, goalkeeper Ciara Trant will captain the Sky Blues as they begin the defence of their League crown.
Trant, Martha Byrne, Niamh Collins, Olwen Carey, Siobhán McGrath, Carla Rowe, Nicole Owens and Niamh McEvoy all started against Cork in the 2018 TG4 All-Ireland decider.
Regular starters Lauren Magee and Lyndsey Davey are named among the substitutes but 2018 TG4 Senior Players’ Player of the Year Aherne, Sinead Goldrick, Leah Caffrey, Sinead Finnegan and Noelle Healy are not listed, as Bohan runs the rule over an extended panel.
Former Republic of Ireland soccer international Siobhán Killeen, who scored 5-4 in the 2018 All-Ireland Intermediate Club Final for Clontarf, is on the bench while clubmate Sarah Fagan, who captained the team, is handed the chance to impress at left-half-back.
Rachel Ruddy, a winner of two All-Ireland senior medals and two All Star awards, is on the bench after returning to the squad following a year away.
Dublin: C Trant (captain); M Byrne, N Collins, E McDonagh; A Kane, O Carey, S Fagan; J Dunne, S McGrath; C Rowe, K Fitzgibbon, É Rutledge; S Woods, N Owens, N McEvoy.
Donegal: A Nee; T Hegarty, E Gallagher, E McGinley; T Doherty, N McLaughlin, N Carr; K Herron, N Boyle; K Guthrie (captain), N Hegarty, A Boyle Carr; G McLaughlin, M Ryan, C Grant.