Electric Ireland Women’s Academy League kicks off 26 May

Electric Ireland Women’s Academy League kicks off
With Glentoran’s Kerry Beattie are (from left to right) Madison McMenamin-Kirk (Sion Swifts), Roisin Lynch (Derry City), Megan Neill (Glentoran), Orleigh McGuinness (Cliftonville), Mia Reilly (Crusaders) and Zoe Knox (Linfield).

The top female youth league in Northern Ireland returns on 26 May as the new Electric Ireland Women’s Academy League season gets underway.

Formed in 2019 by the NIFL, the Electric Ireland Women’s Academy League provides a critical pathway to the top of the game in Northern Ireland, with many players already having progressed to the Premiership and gaining international recognition after featuring for their clubs in the Academy League.

Glentoran Reserves lifted the trophy last season and will look to defend their title against five other top clubs from across the country; Cliftonville Corinthians, Crusaders Strikers U19, Derry City U19, Linfield Swifts and Sion Swifts U19.

A hat-trick of derby games kick off the first round of the Electric Ireland Women’s Academy League on 26 May, when all games will begin at 7:30pm.

• Cliftonville Corinthians v Crusaders Strikers U19
• Linfield v Glentoran Reserves
• Sion Swifts U19 v Derry City U19

Ian Forrester, Chief Commercial Officer of NI Football League said: “We’re delighted to see our Women’s Academy League return once again with the support of Electric Ireland. The league has been vital to the development of female players since its inception, and we can’t wait to see the next batch of talented players shine over the summer.”

Anne Smyth, Sponsorship Specialist at Electric Ireland, said: “We’re thrilled to welcome back the Electric Ireland Women’s Academy League and with it the best emerging talent in women’s football. The league continues to be a key stepping stone for players on their path to the top flight, and we look forward to watching the teams progress as the 2023 season kicks off this weekend.”

The Women’s Academy League will benefit from Electric Ireland Game Changers campaign, which includes initiatives delivered in partnership with the Irish FA, such as the Electric Ireland ‘Shooting Stars’ and ‘Leadership’ Programmes, which aim to change the landscape of female sport in Northern Ireland and encourage participation and opportunities at all levels.

The initiatives are helping sow the seeds of future success and creating an environment in which female sporting achievements are nurtured and celebrated at every age throughout a player’s development.

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