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The teams for the new Continental Tyres Women's National Under-17s League have been confirmed.

The new league is set to start in July 2018 and will be the first national underage women's league in Ireland.

Seven Continental Tyres Women's National League teams will be represented in the league with Wexford Youths, Peamount United, Shelbourne Ladies, UCD Waves, Galway WFC, Cork City WFC and Limerick Women's all included.

Four additional teams have been awarded a place in the Women's National Under-17 League with Athlone Town, Greystones United, Donegal Women's League and Sligo Rovers set to complete the 11-team line-up.

The league will begin in mid-late July 2018 with a truncated season before the start of the first full season in March 2019.

FAI Head of Women's Football Sue Ronan said: "This is another huge step forward for Women's football in Ireland.

"The Gaynor tournament continues to grow from strength to strength but it's important we look to strengthen our elite player pathway with the new National Under-17s League. The gap between the Women's National League and elite grassroots football is a big one so now the creation of this league will help breach that gap.

"By creating the Under-17s league, we'll be able to see more elite players from the Gaynor Tournament progress to the next stage of their development with the 11 sides positioned across the country.

"The inclusion of Donegal Women's League, Greystones United, Athlone Town and Sligo Rovers is not just recognition for the great work these clubs are already doing in Women's Football but also recognition for the talent in these areas.

"We've seen all of these areas perform well in recent Gaynor Tournament's and it's important that we've got as many clubs around the country as possible to give everyone in Ireland a chance to play in the league."

On being awarded a Women's National Under-17s League spot, Marie Casserly, Chairperson of the Women’s Football Committee in Sligo Rovers, said: "We're delighted to be awarded a place in the new Women's Under-17s League.

“The excellent structures established in recent years within the Sligo / Leitrim League Emerging Talent programme has developed a pool of quality local players. Those structures have led to success stories at the Gaynor Tournament with the various Sligo / Leitrim teams. We believe it's hugely important to provide those players with the next step in their elite player progression and by having a Sligo Rovers side in the league, we'll be able to provide that.

“Sligo / Leitrim already boasts a number of players who have made an impression on the international teams both north and south of the border. Women’s National League players Emma Hansberry (Wexford Youths) & Dearbhaile Beirne (UCD Waves), Northern Irish International & IFA Cup winner Catherine Hyndman and Ailbhe Clancy who was part of the World University Games squad last summer all hail from the region.

We hope our inclusion in this national league will help our young elite female players progress to the Women's National League and beyond."

 

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