Oh, that sucks. But, you never know, with travel to Australia from Ireland being as difficult as it is, it may have been as simple as missed flight or something
As far as the girls are concerned, Amy seemed to make a little improvement towards the end of year and is over a year younger than Sam or John so she still has plenty of time to develop. I wouldn't hold out much hope for the coming months, though - if my maths are correct she turned 15 in September last year, which would make her very likely to be studying for her Junior Cert this year. I wouldn't expect too much of Sinead yet, either, if she does move on to the U18 ITF circuit. The gap between the calibre of player she'd meet at an amateur U16 Irish-only event versus the U18 circuit is massive. To put things in perspective, the number 1 U14 player is only ranked around 900 on the U18. I have every confidence that Sinead will have success in the future, but hoping for it to come this year is probably optimistic.
A random other bit of information: I was googling for info on the Irish juniors and found out that John Morrissey is actually a full-timer at Justine Henin's tennis academy. Click here to see their list of full-timers.
While it's encouraging that he was picked to join them, it means his success can't be attributed to Tennis Ireland's efforts, which is unfortunate. Also a member of the academy is Irina Kromacheva, the last girl to beat Amy in 08. Unbelievably, she (at 12 years old) already has her own website
. In the story about her recent ITF title on the site whoever is writing says that Amy is over 190cm and has a good serve. I think. Their English is pretty broken.