Athlone Town women’s senior team will be hoping to go one better than in 2022 when the new season resumes in March.
Runners up in both the league and cup competitions put the Town back on the national stage and manager Tommy Hewitt will look to build upon this achievement. The addition of Shamrock Rovers makes it an eleven-team league with one club idle each weekend as a result. Teams will play each other on a home and away basis in a 20 game league, the cup final bringing the campaign to a close in mid-November.
Athlone have an attractive home game to kick off the season as Peamount United visit the Midlands on the first Saturday in March, while Shelbourne start the defence of their title with a home game against Cork City. Athlone are idle in the second round of fixtures and resume league action again after St Patricks Day with a visit to the Markets Field in Limerick to take on Treaty United.
Round nine will see the Town do battle with Shelbourne for the first time since the cup final, enjoying home advantage. Another home game follows when the eagerly awaited first ever battle with Shamrock Rovers takes place. There is a then mid-season League Cup competition which gets underway in mid-June. There will be five matchdays in the secondary tournament before the season takes a break for the World Cup which will be hosted by Australia and New Zealand. A number of players plying their trade in the domestic game are set to be involved as Ireland make history down under.
Domestic action is set to resume with a home game against Sligo. Hewitt’s charges put the club back on the national stage in 2022 with a great run to the cup final. While the result was disappointing, fortunes in the club took a turn in a positive direction, the first round of the cup to take place on the last weekend of August.
Following this, Athlone face Shelbourne in Tolka Park in another rematch of the 2022 final decider. The cup quarter finals are then down for decision in mid-September with the semi-finals set to be played a month later. Athlone have a tough end of season to contend with as they wrap up their home campaign with a game against Wexford Youths with last season’s top scorer Emily Corbet having now joined the South East outfit.
The league season is completed with a possible title decider at Tallaght Stadium against Shamrock Rovers. The hoops are expected to mount a serious challenge for honours with the top class signings they have made. Athlone, too, will have title aspirations and it is one of the standout fixtures in the campaign, even before a ball has been kicked. Champions Shelbourne wrap up their season with a trip to Leeside to take on Cork City. The cup final will then draw the campaign to a conclusion a week later and Athlone fans would no doubt appreciate another day out in Dublin.