Monaghan manager John Morrison is relishing the prospect of locking horns with TG4 All-Ireland champions Cork in next Sunday’s Tesco Homegrown Ladies National Football League Division 1 fixture in Mallow.
The match-up is a repeat of last September’s All-Ireland final between the counties, which League holders Cork won by just a single point.
But Monaghan, who beat Laois comprehensively last Sunday, are under new management in the form of Morrison, who has vast experience of working with men’s senior intercounty teams including Armagh, Donegal, Derry, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim and Antrim.
Morrison revealed: “We’re happy enough with the team. It’s not the All-Ireland team of last year and looking at the line-up last Sunday against Laois, seven of the All-Ireland team were not there.
“Christina Reilly and Laura McEnaney are away and Eileen McKenna and Caoimhe Mohan were in Croke Park to cheer on their club Truagh (in the All-Ireland men’s intermediate club championship final.)
“Eileen McElroy is also involved with UCD in the Ashbourne cup this weekend and that’s important to her too.”
Morrison has also thanked Cork for agreeing to change the throw-in time for next Sunday’s game.
It was originally due to start at 2pm but will now go ahead at 12.30pm.
Morrison added: “Cork are the best team in Ireland and they’re on home ground.
“I’m looking forward to this game, I’m excited.
“It’s a huge measure for any team to play against Cork and they’ve been very generous to us already, which shows a certain amount of respect between the two counties.
“Monaghan facilitated an early start last year and they have reciprocated.
“That’s ideal for getting the girls home early. At the end of the day, it’s a game of football. Somebody’s got to win and if it’s us, we move on and keep learning. If it’s not us, we still move on.”
Morrison added: “I’m happy enough with the way the team is.
“I discovered from last year that very few players were used and you’re not going to develop for the future if you’re not going to use players.
“So our philosophy is ‘win, learn’ but our main priority is the All-Ireland.”
Elsewhere in Division 1, Mayo host Dublin, Donegal are at home to Tyrone in the Ulster derby and Munster champions Kerry entertain Laois.
NFL Division 1 Round 3
Cork v Monaghan, Mallow, 12.30pm
Mayo v Dublin, Fr Gibbons Park, 2pm
Donegal v Tyrone, TBC 2pm
Kerry v Laois, John Mitchell’s, 2pm
NFL Division 2 Round 3
Fermanagh v Galway, TBC 2pm
Kildare v Meath, TBC 2pm
Clare v Cavan, TBC 2pm
Down v Westmeath, Mayobridge 2pm
NFL Division 3 Round 3
Leitrim v Longford, Ballinamore, 2pm
Waterford v Tipperary, TBC 2pm
Sligo v Offaly, TBC 2pm
Wexford v Armagh, TBC 2pm