CORK ladies football boss Ephie Fitzgerald has suffered a serious blow for the championship with two players ruled out through injury.
The Rebels will face Kerry and Cavan in November without two-time All-Star Marie Ambrose and Laura O’Mahony, who are both sidelined due to a cruciate ligament issue.
“Marie picked up her injury in a club game for St Val’s only about two months ago and so she will be out of action for a significant amount of additional time,” remarked Fitzgerald on Ambrose, who plays in the full-back line.
“Unlike Marie, Laura did not require an operation as her injury is a partial tear of her cruciate ligament which happened maybe five of six months ago.
“But she still needs to do a lot more rehab work on her knee, so she has no chance of being available for the games against Kerry or Cavan.
“Laura’s problem with her cruciate had been ongoing for some time, and she’s not actually sure when the injury first flared up.”
The Nemo club man will be keeping his fingers crossed that a sizeable number of his panel will emerge unscathed from their endeavours in Munster club action. Mourneabbey in senior, Clonakilty in intermediate and Valley Rovers in junior will be involved.
“Altogether, we would have nine players involved – six from Mourneabbey, two from Valley Rovers and one from Clonakilty.
“With regard to the platers' involvement at county and club level, we have a very good relationship with the three clubs, and in the build-up to the two competitions the players will probably train one night a week with us and one night a week with their clubs.”
The presence of four dual players in his panel will also have an impact.
“The girls will obviously have to divide their time between the football team and the camogie team training,” explained Fitzgerald on the situation facing Ciara McCarthy, Fiona Keating, Libby Coppinger and Hannah Looney.
“So it’s very important that we ensure that the four girls don’t overdo the training so that they will be fresh for the games.”
In this year’s All-Ireland Ladies Football Championship the games will be staged at neutral; Birr the location for the clash against Cavan.
But Fitzgerald is still awaiting notification for where his county’s fixture against Kerry will take place.
“I’d say that the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick would be an ideal venue for the Kerry game, as it’s obviously an excellent ground and it also fulfils the requirement of having four dressing-rooms, with a maximum of 20 people being allowed in one dressing-room due to the Covid-19 regulations.”