Changes made to both 2012 & 2013 All Star Teams

THERE is the promise of the 2012 and 2013 TG4 Allstars producing an exhibition of Ladies Football in the Hong Kong Football Club tomorrow evening, the first in six overseas tours to be played under lights and for which each team will show a change from the published line-outs.

Cork’s Briege Corkery and Monaghan’s Ciara McAnespie have each been ruled out with injuries picked up in recent League games and their places will be filled by Kerry star Bernie Breen and experienced Monaghan midfielder Amanda Casey, respectively.

Ladies Gaelic Association President Pat Quill has made it known to the players that he will be expecting a performance that mirrors the quality of games on previous tours.

“The games are a promotional tool for ladies football abroad, where people do not see Ladies Football played at the standard these girls can produce. We have been very pleased with the feedback from previous tours. The standard has been excellent and hopefully this will be the same,” he commented.

On the 2012 team, which will have Kerry manager William O’Sullivan in charge, Dublin star Sinead Goldrick will move from midfield to fill Corkery’s position at wing-back and Breen will take over her place. 2013 manager Eamonn Ryan will also be without Kerry’s Caroline Kelly, who is recovering from a knee injury.

McAnespie’s twin sister Aoife is a sub on the 2012 team, Cork sisters Ciara and Doireann O’Sullivan are on opposite sides, while Monaghan sisters Sharon and Ciara Courtney both play with the 2013 team. Meanwhile, Farney team-mate Christina Reilly joined the group from New York yesterday and she is returning home after the tour, when she will take over the captaincy of the team.

The squads feature what is viewed as the most decorated group of players to go on tour. Nine players figured on all eight of Cork’s All-Ireland wins and five of them were on the ‘Team of the Decade’ in 2000 (marking the tenth year of TG4’s sponsorship of the championships), as were Cora Staunton and Galway utility player Emer Flaherty.

Staunton heads the list of individual awards with nine, followed by Corkery with seven and the Cork pair Brid Stack and Juliet Murphy having six each.

The game will have a special attraction for members of the Hong Kong club who are actively involved in ladies football. “The game is played 9-a-side over here, with twelve in a team,” explains Vice-chairman Ruth Wynne from Westmeath.

“Each year we would generally have two teams competing in the Asian Games.  Of these, close to one third are Irish and the rest would be a mix of Australian, Kiwi, Canadian and American. They are really interested in seeing the 15-a-side element.

“The event will include an under-16 game between two schools. One girl – Hong Kong born and bred of Hong Kong ethnicity – decided after her second training session she was corrupted out of rugby and is now addicted!”

Chantal Cook, originally from Sydney, is one of the many converts to the ladies game – through an Irish friend – and she is also hooked. “If I was to move to a different country one thing i would definitely do is to check if there is a GAA club there and join. It’s an amazing way to meet people and feel part of the community!”

2012 Allstars: E. Harte (Cork); C. Lynch (Kerry), B. Stack (Cork), C. Reilly (Monaghan); S. Goldrick (Dublin), R. Buckley (Cork), G. O’Flynn (Cork); C. O’Hanlon Armagh), B. Breen (Kerry); S. Houlihan (Kerry), C. Staunton (Mayo), C. O’Sullivan (Cork); C. McConnell (Monaghan),  V. Mulcahy (Cork), L. Ní Mhuircheartaigh (Kerry).
Subs: A. Desmond (Kerry), A. McAnespie (Monaghan), E. Concannon (Galway), N. Kindlon (Monaghan).

2013 Allstars: Y. Byrne (Mayo); G. McNally (Monaghan), S. Courtney (Monaghan), D. O’Reilly (Cork), S. Burke (Galway), A. Walsh (Cork), A. Lyons (Kerry), A. Clarke (Galway), J. Murphy (Cork); F. McHale (Mayo), C. Mohan (Monaghan), C. Courtney (Monaghan), A. Casey (Monaghan), N. Cleary (Cork), D. O’Sullivan (Cork). Subs: E. Flaherty (Galway), M. Morrissey (Tipperary), B. Sheridan (Cavan).

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