Tomorrow’s match in the UCD Bowl kicks off at 3 pm. Tickets are available at the gate. The match will be streamed live on LOITV

Did Orlaith keep the players busy with her off-season programme and is everyone in the group just excited to get the new campaign underway now?

Orlaith kept everyone very, very busy in the off-season. She’s one of the best in the business around. She’s what helps drive a lot of the standards around this place. She’s tough, and firm but the girls get a lot of benefits out of all the work that she puts them through. After being through all that hard work, I think the players are just really looking forward to getting back onto the pitch and having the season kicked off now. A lot of work has gone in so we just want to get going now.

Fiona Owens has just been signed from Athlone Town. Is that the end of Rovers’ transfer business and how do you feel about our squad depth?

Yes, it is. I was expecting Sky Sports to be out at Roadstone, seeing if we could just get it over the line with a couple of hours to spare. We got it done literally on the transfer deadline day. That is it – we can’t technically sign any more players now until the transfer window opens again in July. That is the squad done. It is a much smaller squad than last year but it’s a more competitive, tight-knit group and that’s what we were looking for.

Do you feel that we established ourselves in our first season back in senior football and what do you want more of in the second year, on and off the pitch?

I think we grew as the season went on. We got better and better. We looked back at some of the videos from our early games last season to some of the football we were able to produce towards the end, and it was nearly chalk and cheese. There was good development work last year so we are trying to build on top of what was done and try and get the team to even higher levels week after week.

We reached the FAI Cup semi-finals last season and the All-Ireland Tournament will begin earlier this year. Is going one step closer to silverware a big ambition this season?

It’s a question I always get asked and it’s the same answer for every single one of them. All we ever concentrate on is doing our business day after day, week after week. If we get to semi-finals, finals, and win trophies, that’s only ever a by-product of all the work we do by concentrating on what’s in front of us right now. All we ever try and do is be better today than what we were yesterday and that is our only focus.

Scarlett Herron made an impact when she arrived late last season and Joy Ralph certainly has a bright future as well. Could those two be big players for us in our second season?

A lot of the younger players have had a season or two under their belt now. Scarlett and Joy were great additions when they came into the side. But also the ones we had like Lia O’Leary and Aoife Kelly were very good last year. I’ve always believed in youth. I’ve always given them the opportunity and take it and grow, and take the information on board and see if they can get better on their own. So that’s why I think we have a good mixture of that youth. I think it’s still the likes of Áine, Steph, Amanda, Sav around the place as well that helps guide all those young players. It’s that extra little bit of information that helps them grow even faster.

Out first game is DLR Waves at Belfield on Saturday. They finished last season rather poorly and ended up in 8th place. What do you expect from them?

I think it will be something similar to last year. They are a very young side as well. A lot of players only cut their teeth last year. I do expect them to be better than what they were last year. They also went through a big transition where they lost a lot of players so they managed to keep the majority of the players this year. They do have Chloe McCarty from us, who’s gone to them and they’ve managed to keep more of the experienced players like Eve Bandana. Jess Gleeson and Isobel Finnegan. So there’s a good spine there that they have with Michelle Doonan up top as well. It’s one of them where they can hurt you if you’re not fully at it.

Rovers began the league really well last season and went unbeaten for a long time. Is everyone keen to hit the ground running again with another strong start?

We want to come out of the traps quickly. We want to try and get up and running as soon as we can. When you’ve had a long pre-season all you want to do is get onto the pitch and get going. That’s what we’re looking forward to doing.

Sav McCarthy underwent ankle surgery recently. How is she doing and are there any other injuries going into the new season?She’s okay. She’s had a second operation on it. A few things were missed after the first operation so she had to go in and have a second one on it. At least she’s getting some of the best medical care available at the moment, which is good. She’ll still be a number of weeks. We still don’t know exactly how many weeks but she’ll be a few weeks out. On top of that then, we have Amanda Budden who had a knee injury in the off-season. She’s still another two or three weeks away from coming back. Other than that, everybody should be fit and available.