WHEN Team Montenotte Hotel Cork failed in their bid for a fourth national cup title last season only one of the players, Amy Stewart, was in line for a fourth national cup medal.
Continuity has been the secret of their success over the years and it is a feature that Mark Scannell, a former star himself and currently one of the most astute basketball coaches around, has perfected.
He went into last season without five of the stars from the previous campaign but yet he battled his way through to the final and, in the end, lost to a highly motivated DCU Mercy that was superbly organised by Mark Ingle.
Last evening coach Scannell put his plans on the table when the Glanmire club formally launched their new season at the Montenotte Hotel.
The Women’s SuperLeague tips off on Saturday night when they face a difficult opener away to Killester.
The coach has lost stars like Niamh Dwyer and Valerie O’Driscoll as well as Casey Grace and Emily O’Callaghan who have both gone to the US while dynamic point, Donna Buckley, has taken a year out.
However he can measure those losses against the return of Denise Walsh which is a major boost to the club and he also has Gráinne Dwyer who returned from Australia to play a leading role in the latter part of last season at his disposal.
In typical fashion, however, has added some new players to the roster alongside captain, Marie Breen, Cork camogie star, Amanda O’Regan, Aine McKenna from Kerry, Amy Stewart and the underage sensation from Galway, Claire Rockall, who has developed into a fine SuperLeague player.
“We are very lucky to have a lot of good young players coming through from our U18 and U20 sides who have all won national cups,” Scannell said.
“But really nobody will be expecting us to win much this year and that’s the way we like it. We like waiting in the long grass.”
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