The Continental Tyres Women’s Under 17 National League has been launched.
The new 11-team league is set to begin on Saturday, July 14 and it will be the first under-age national league in women’s football in Ireland.
Athlone Town, Cork City, Donegal League, Galway Women’s, Greystones, Limerick WFC, Peamount United, Shelbourne, Sligo Rovers, UCD Waves and Wexford Youths are all set to compete in the first-ever season.
The 11 teams have been split into two groups and will play a shortened season with the final stages set to take place in September, with the first full season set to begin in March 2019.
The league was launched with players from all 11 clubs, Republic of Ireland WNT internationals Heather Payne and Isibeal Atkinson, Tom Dennigan, Continental Tyres General Sales Manager and FAI Director of Competitions Fran Gavin at the FAI National Training Centre.
“We’re delighted to launch the league as some of our best young players from around the country will have a platform to play on,” Gavin said.
“It is the next logical step as we look to improve that elite player pathway for women’s football in Ireland, all the way to the Continental Tyres Women’s National League and the Women’s National Team.
“The level of women’s football in this country continues to go from strength to strength which is shown through the progress of the national team. Half of the national squad is from the Women’s National League so now more than ever, it is vitally important that we have an under-age national league.
“There is a lot of excitement within the league and the clubs have put together some fantastic squads. It will be fantastic to see the action start on Saturday.”
Tom Dennigan, Continental Tyres General Sales Manager, said: “We’ve really enjoyed sponsoring the Continental Tyres Women’s National League and the development of women’s football in Ireland.
“We jumped at the chance to sponsor the Women’s Under 17 League as well because it is a vital step on a player’s journey into the Women’s National League and beyond. It’s also great to see teams like Donegal, Sligo, Athlone and Greystones enter the league as it does feel like the whole country is involved in the competition.”
1⃣1⃣ teams… ⚽️
1⃣ winner… 🏆
The players are ready for the Women's Under 17 League… 💪
— ContinentalTyres WNL (@FAI_WNL) July 11, 2018