TYRONE Senior Ladies boss Gerry Moane admits that it will be a much changed Red Hand side which takes to the field to get their Ulster Championship campaign underway this weekend.
Tyrone will be without eight of the side which started against Laois in the All-Ireland quarter-final last year.
They include Sarah Donnelly who has gone Stateside, Neamh Woods, Eimear Teague who underwent surgery last week on a broken finger, and former All-Star Sinead McLaughlin who has been absent from this year’s panel.
“We’ll be going out on Saturday without four of the six defenders who started last year. It’s disappointing of course, but it’s one of those things,” he said. “You have to play with the hand you’re dealt with, so we’ll just be getting on with it.
“People looking in from the outside might wonder where they’ve all gone to, but when you lose one or two to injury, another few to emigration, then it soon adds up.”
The ladies clash against Monaghan will be the curtain-raiser for the Donegal versus Derry senior mens’ quarter-final at Ballybofey on Saturday evening, with the winner progressing to the Ulster final while the losers will get a second shot at it against Donegal in two weeks time.
Moane revealed that his side have lined out in challenge matches against Armagh, Dublin and Longford in recent weeks as they tailored their championship preparations, and while has total faith in his side’s ability to get the result they need, he is also quick to acknowledge the size of the task at hand.