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Lucky 13 aiming for Blue horizon

THE 'Top Thirteen' are determined to lead Dublin across the blue sea. Paul McLoughlin is the new captain of the City Express. Paul succeeds Maureen King as the Dublin chairperson. He brings much wisdom to the post.

His priority will be to install a new Dublin senior manager to replace Peter Clarke, who is now in charge of Mayo.

The clock is ticking fast. Dublin begin their National League campaign with a home tie against old foes Meath on February 3.

The invitation has gone out for suitable candidates to apply for the position, one of the most prestigious jobs in ladies football.

The deadline for applicants is this Friday. The vacancy is sure to attract much interest.

Dublin are seen as one of the leading counties in the sport. Having gone close under Mick Bohan and John O'Leary, they secured their first title in 2010 with Gerry McGill.

The following year, with Tommy Brown in charge, they lost to Cork in the quarter-final. And it was Kerry who defeated the Dubs last season again in the quarter-final, again in Birr, and again by a point.

It was Camillus Kilpatrick who was the chairperson when Dublin struck All-Ireland gold. He is now part of Paul's cabinet.

It also includes two men who have refereed All-Ireland senior finals, Finbarr O'Driscoll and Keith Tighe.

Dave McCabe is also highly respected in refereeing circles. He'll serve Dublin in Leinster, while the Kilmacud duo, John Sheridan, a former Dublin chairman, and Yvonne Burke, will represent the county at central council.

Kathleen Colreavy has given a life-time of service to the sport.

And she is joined on the top table by another dedicated Portmarnock disciple, Siobhan Walsh.

Mary O'Connor does huge work at St Brigid's. Her commitment at Russell Park is just unreal, while Bernice Jones-Moore is a pillar of the Man O War club.

Another representative from the North County, Joe Keane, will also be in the boardroom, as will be Amy Brannigan, but, unfortunately, there is no PRO.

A few years ago, Joanne Cantwell filled the role.

Back then, Joanne used to fax in the notes on a Monday morning. She also played full-back for the Jackies. She is now one of the top broadcasters in the country.

As Hughie Green would say, opportunity knocked, and Joanne answered the call. Maybe the bell might ring again.