Laois Ladies take on Armagh this afternoon in the opening round of division 2 of the National Football League.
Here we guide you through all you need to know in this match preview:
There are many changes on this year’s Laois Ladies team compared to last year’s.
David Gibson takes over the helm as a new manager with new backroom trainers and has taken charge of a much-changed Laois side to the one that won the Leinster intermediate final last year.
From the Laois team that won the Leinster intermediate title last summer, there are a number of absentees.
Five of the six backs who started that day are all no longer involved. Sisters Alison and Jenny McEvoy and their Sarsfields clubmate Ciara Hughes are all gone from the full back line while centre back Mags McEvoy has retired.
Laois player of the Year for 2018 Amy Potts, who was wing back in the win over Wicklow, is also absent as she recovers from ACL surgery.
Laura-Marie Maher and Aoife Kirrane remain out from last year with their cruciate ligament tears.
Meanwhile, Sarsfields duo Ciara Burke (emigrated to Australia) and Clare Conlon (injured) are also not part of the panel.
However there are a number of new and returning faces on this year’s panel.
Portlaoise woman Ellen Healy returns to the fold as does Ballyroan’s Clodagh Dunne.
Gibson stated that he was particularly impressed by the young players coming up through the ranks, including; Andrea Moran (Ballyroan), Alannah Havill (St Conleth’s) and Niamh O’Rourke (Ballyfin).
What’s the history between the sides?
In last year’s league, Laois lost to Armagh by six points.
The Laois women were down by 5 points at half-time and narrowed the gap to four. A missed a goal chance and a Armagh penalty and point towards the end sealed the deal for the Orchard county.
What Armagh players should we watch out for?
Caoimhe Morgan could be considered Armagh Ladies number one stalwart for many years.
The team’s current captain has played senior inter-county football for 19 years and Morgan is joined by the likes of midfield powerhouse Caroline O’Hanlon and sharpshooter Aimee Mackin.
What has Armagh’s season been like so far?
This is the first competitive game of the season for Armagh but they’ve been quite busy behind the scenes. As announced last year, they are planning a Centre of Excellence for all inter-county teams from underage right through to senior.
Armagh LGFA secured the lease for McKeever Park in Killean with £100,000 to be put into the facility to make it the home of ladies football in the Orchard county.
Where, When and What Time?
The game takes place in Emo GAA grounds on Sunday, February 3 at 2pm.
Where can I follow the game?
We’ll be live-blogging the proceedings on LaoisToday.ie as well as doing a full match report after the game.