There is great excitement throughout the women’s football community across Sligo and Leitrim as the FAI have confirmed that Sligo Rovers will be founding members of the inaugural Under 17 Women’s National League for the first two seasons in 2018 and 2019.
After weeks of suspense, the league governing body confirmed Rovers' participation in the competition by e-mail last week.
The first edition of the league will kick off in July 2018 with a slightly shortened season which will end in October / November. A second full season will commence in March 2019 and run alongside the existing senior national league until October / November 2019.
There are a number of requirements for participation in the league, in particular that the squad will be limited to 20 players and the head coach will be required to have a minimum of a UEFA B Licence qualification to work at this level.
Rovers are progressing with the necessary arrangements in order to hit the ground running when the league kicks off in just under six months time.
Partnership discussions, coaching appointments and player recruitment are top of the agenda for the coming months as the Bit ‘o Red look to make a success of this new venture.
Exact details of the structure and make up of the league will be confirmed by the FAI in due course, but for now, the news that women’s national league football will be coming to the north west for the first time in what promises to be a fantastic new chapter for female sport across the entire region.
Some of the members of the Sligo / Leitrim U14 & U16 Emerging Talent Programme celebrating the news that Sligo Rovers will be a founding member of the new U17 National League in 2018. (l-r) Nola Eivers (Arrow Harps), Eimear McIntyre (Ballisodare Utd), Ellen Kelleher (Real Tubber), Maeve Molloy (Gurteen Celtic), Keela Scanlon (Yeats Utd), Laura Oates (Calry Bohs), Farragh McDonagh (Ballymote Celtic), Leah Fox (Manor Rangers), Cathy Harrison (Benbulben FC), Sorcha Reddy (Strand Celtic