Ladies start their season under the dome on Saturday night

Ladies Football: National Football League

Back on the road: Shauna Howley and Mayo will get their league campaign up and running this weekend against Westmeath. Photo: Sportsfile

Back on the road: Shauna Howley and Mayo will get their league campaign up and running this weekend against Westmeath. Photo: Sportsfile

Tomorrow evening the lights will go up and the curtain come down on the new season for the Mayo Ladies senior footballers, under the roof of the Connacht GAA AirDome in Bekan.

Michael Moyles is back in charge for a second year and his side will open up their national league campaign with a tricky assignment against last year's intermediate championship winners, Westmeath.

The LGFA have decided to stick with the split divisions this year in the league which they used in last year's Covid-affected season, so Mayo are in Division 1A, alongside their visitors this weekend from the midlands and near neighbours Galway and Donegal.

Each side will play each other once, with the top two sides making it through to the semi-final stages of the competition, to face the top two finishers in Division 1B, which includes the likes of current All Ireland champions Meath alongside Dublin and Cork.

After taking on Westmeath this weekend, they will be on the road against Galway next weekend and then host Donegal on March 6, with the semi-final pencilled in for March 19 and the final in early April.

Earlier this week Moyles released his 29-player-squad for the league. He will be planning for the league without the Mayo foursome of Sarah Rowe, Niamh Kelly, Grace Kelly and Rachael Kearns, who are all currently in Australia playing Australian Rules. He also has a number of last year's squad unavailable due to injury such as Clodagh McManamon, Ella Brennan and Ciara McManamon.

The squad still has plenty of experience in it with a good mix of youth to match, with the likes of Shauna Howley - who starred for Knockmore in their county senior championship win last year, Castlebar trio Danielle Caldwell, Kathryn Sullivan and Grainne Flynn back after their run to the All Ireland Intermediate club final last which ended last weekend, and Carnacon’s experienced Fiona McHale and Kilmovee duo Sinead and Lisa Cafferkey.

Moyles' backroom team contains plenty of experience also, with selectors Aiden McLoughlin and Martin McDonald, Ger Cafferkey, Martin Connor and Austin O’Malley all on board for the season.

Mayo squad: Rachel Baines (Burrishoole ), Danielle Caldwell, Kathryn Sullivan, Grainne Flynn (Castlebar Mitchels ), Fiona McHale (Carnacon ), Tamara O Connor (Cill Chomain ), Eilis Ronayne (Davitts ), Aisling Tarpey (Foxrock/Cabinteely ), Laura Brennan , Alannah Duffy, Ava Keane, Nicola Hession (Hollymount ), Ciara Whyte, Mary McHale (Kilmoremoy ), Sinead Cafferky, Lisa Cafferky (Kilmovee Shamrocks ), Maria Reilly (Kiltane ), Shauna Howley, Hannah Reape, Roisin Flynn, Nina McVann, Sarah Mulvihill (Knockmore ), Tara Needham, Ciara Needham (Louisburgh ), Sinead Walsh (McHale Rovers ), Saoirse Lally, Laura Moran, Sherin El Massey and Aoife Geraghty (Westport ).


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