2018 FAI Continental Tyres WNL season launched

Players, from left, Therese Hartley (Limerick), Shauna Fox (Galway), Aisling Dunbar (UCD Waves), Ciara McNamara (Cork City), Kyle Murphy (Wexford Youths), Noelle Murray (Shelbourne), Louise Corrigan (Peamount United) and Bronagh Kane (Kilkenny United) at the launch of the 2018 FAI Continental Tyres Women’s National League Season at FAI HQ in Abbottstown, Dublin. (Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile)

Representatives from the eight clubs were present at the launch of the 2018 Continental Tyres Women’s National League season.

The new campaign kicks off on Sunday 11th March at 2pm, as defending champions Wexford Youths welcome former winners Shelbourne to Ferrycarrig Park. Galway entertain Cork City at Eamonn Deacy Park, while UCD Waves travel to Peamount United and Limerick host Kilkenny.

Fran Gavin, FAI Director of Competitions, believes the inclusion of Limerick WFC will help bring the league to new levels.

“We’re extremely excited for the start of the new Continental Tyres Women’s National League kicking off this week and we’re positive we can build on the success of last season, our first season after switching to a single calendar format,” Gavin told wnl.fai.ie.

“The league has continued to go from strength to strength which was recognised on the final day of last season as over 700 supporters watched Wexford Youths lift the title against Peamount United at Ferrycarrig Park.

“Also, over half of the current Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team squad are playing in the Women’s National League, which shows the abundance of talent playing in the league and the progression of the elite player pathway for women’s football in Ireland.

“The inclusion of Limerick, bringing the league up to an eight-team league, will enhance the competition as it will see every team play on each match weekend and raise the competitive standard even further.

“Of course, there is still plenty of work to be done and we’re working closely with the clubs to make the necessary improvements both on and off the pitch. I would like to wish all of the players, coaches, administrators and volunteers the very best of luck.”

Tom Dennigan, Continental Tyres Ireland said, “We’re very excited to be here today for the official start of the 2018 season. This will be our fifth season as partners to this wonderfully rich and continually developing domestic league and we couldn’t be happier to be involved.

“The high level performance and dedication demonstrated by players, management and their supporters at games throughout the season is to be commended and seeing new additions such as Limerick this year adds an even more competitive element to the calendar season.

“We look forward to attending weekend games and seeing even more outstanding performances this year.”