RONAN Collins and Cork City Senior women’s cannot wait to get back playing with the news of the league starting in the second week of August.
This will be a new-look Cork City side which will be a mixture of old and new players, with many making the step up from U17 level, and hopefully they can have a great season.
This is the 10th season of the Women's National League which was originally scheduled to start in March but the Covid-19 pandemic put that on hold and clubs have been waiting patiently ever since.
“It’s absolutely fantastic to have the players back as a group,” said Collins.
"Credit to the players they have been working really hard throughout and I have no doubt this will stand to them throughout the season."
In order to help clubs, affiliation fees have waived, a participation grant will be provided, prize money will be spread out equally, and there will be funds available to ensure all clubs can upgrade their grounds to follow safety protocols.
Now, the focus can switch to preparing for a safe return to play and the FAI will aid that by making a financial package available to each of the nine clubs.
The FAI will also supply a special Covid Assistance Grant to help each of the clubs who will have suffered financial losses due to the pandemic disrupting the original start to the season. There will also be additional support given to teams in the U17 League.
Clubs will be able to access performance analysis for their games following a link-up with Avenir Sports and using the Hudl and WyScout platforms. Each club has been provided with a video camera, tripod, and memory card to record their games.
The Women’s National League Committee held a meeting with the senior clubs in the Women’s National League and outlined a significant financial package to aid the clubs for a new start date in early August.
The first series of games kicks off on the second weekend of August and that will signal the beginning of Phase One, where every team will face off against each other. There will then be a split for Phase Two, where clubs will be separated into two sections and playing each other again.
Peamount United, who lifted the title last season, will represent the League in the UEFA Women's Champions League and their Qualifying Round is due to start in early October.
Cork City U17 team have been training under Sarah Healy for the past number of weeks also, as well as working hard throughout the covid period, and they will be delighted to know that football will finally be starting.
A fixture list and confirmation of a start date for the U17 League will follow in due course.