'Future Ireland coach' Mooney lifts 'Tarf
Clontarf hope that John Mooney can inspire them to a third successive Senior League title when the new season gets under way this afternoon.
Four times Clontarf have won back-to-back titles and a hat-trick has eluded them, but the signing of retired Ireland star Mooney, as player-coach, could be the vital cog.
Backed up by Andrew Poynter and teenage fast bowler David Delany, the champions seem equipped to defend their title.
The downside is the loss of Alex Cusack, but new skipper Joe Morrissey, is excited by Mooney's arrival, saying: "Aside from remaining one of the top cricketers in the country, John has already shown why so many people mention him as a future Ireland coach," he said.
The champions begin their defence at Phoenix whose only new face is Robin Kelly from Pembroke - who welcome back Ireland batsman Andrew Balbirnie alongside fellow internationals Lorcan Tucker and Josh Little.
The latter two are in the Ireland Wolves team in England this weekend so miss the opener at The Hills, who have snapped up Sean Terry and Yaqoob Ali.
Division Two this year looks to be a formality for Irish Cup holders Merrion, who will have Ed Joyce available, after their shock relegation, while Railway Union, without the injured Kevin O'Brien today, are also expected to make an immediate return to the top flight.