Youngsters will feature for Galway Ladies' opening fixture

Galway senior ladies' footballers open the season with a first competitive encounter on Sunday in the Connacht Winter League.

Galway will face NUI Galway, who also line out with several Galway squad members, in Dangan on Sunday (1pm ).

The Tribeswomen, who lost out heavily to kingpins Cork in last year’s All-Ireland quarter-final, go into this pre-season competition as holders, and manager Stephen Glennon is expected to blood some new additions this weekend in preparation for the start of the Lidl NFL later this month.

Glennon has included in his squad several of last year’s minors, Bronagh Quinn, Grace Sheridan and Leanne Coen, along with goalkeepers Lauren Diskin (Dunmore MacHales ) and Lisa Murphy (Kilkerrin/Clonberne ). St Brendan’s forward Leanne Walsh is another to link up with the squad, while the Connacht champions have also been boosted by the return of talented sisters, Louise and Nicola Ward.

Another of the Kilkerrin/Clonberne contingent also to be drafted in has been midfielder Siobhan Divilly, although she, along with her sister Olivia, Eimile Gavin (Claregalway ) and Chole Crowe (Annaghdown ) will be lining out for NUI Galway on Sunday.

Glennon still has a number of Galway players unavailable. While Johanna Connolly has retired, Aine Seoighe and Barbara Hannon (both travelling ), Geraldine Conneally (cruciate ), Megan Glynn (sabbatical ) and Dora Gorman (soccer scholarship ) are among those currently not training with the squad.

Sunday's fixture will provide Glennon with an opportunity to see some of his new players in a competitive environment before opening their National League division one campaign on Sunday January 28 when they are at home to Monaghan before an away trip to Donegal. Then there is the exciting clash between Connacht champions Galway and All Ireland finalists Mayo on February 11. This is one of eight NFL ties which will be part of a double header with their male counterparts, with the men's Galway v Mayo clash following the women, who kick off at 12 noon.

The Galway LGFA is urging supporters to take in the ladies' fixture as all money collected up to 12.10pm will go towards the running of Galway Ladies County Board.

Meanwhile Galway's senior men continue their FBD League action when they travel to McHale Park for tomorrow evening's clash with Mayo. Galway saw off Sligo by 1-12 to 0-11 in last week's game, which featured a goal from Sean Kelly, and scores from Peter Cooke (4fs ), Adrian Varley,, Frankie Burke, Patrick Sweeney, Dessie Conneely and Robert Finnerty.

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