The League of Ireland and Northern Ireland Football League have announced a new all-island competition for women's teams which will have its inaugural edition this summer.
The competition, which will feature 11 teams from the SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division and five from the NIFL Women’s Premiership, will be played during the break ahead of this summer's World Cup.
The 16 teams will be split into four groups of four with the group games played on June 18, June 25 and July 2. The top teams in each group will progress to the semi-finals on July 9th with the final to follow a week later.
The clubs involved will be: Athlone Town, Bohemians, Cork City, DLR Waves, Galway United, Peamount United, Shamrock Rovers, Shelbourne, Sligo Rovers, Treaty United, Wexford Youths, Cliftonville, Crusaders, Derry City, Glentoran and Linfield.
"We are looking forward to working with the Northern Ireland Football League to create what should be an exciting new competition that will act as an additional test for our SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division clubs," said League of Ireland Director Mark Scanlon.
"Finding the right time to host these games was always going to be the main obstacle to overcome but we have identified a block in June, when preparations for the FIFA Women’s World Cup will be ongoing and thankfully our colleagues in the NIFL have been able to work the dates into their schedule also. We believe this competition will be a brilliant start to what promises to be a historic summer for Women’s football in Ireland.
"Along with introducing the President’s Cup this year, this all-island competition is ensuring that our clubs are competing in more top quality games and that will help to strengthen our league as a whole.”
NIFL CEO Gerard Lawlor added: "We’re delighted to accept the invitation from the FAI and the League of Ireland for our clubs to participate in this exciting new competition.
"This is a ground-breaking season for Women’s football for us with the introduction of professionalism, therefore the challenge of competing against new opposition is hugely positive and exciting for the growth of our game."
All games will be streamed live on LOTITV.
— LOI Women (@LoiWomen) March 6, 2023