The first Connacht women’s soccer tournament kicks off this weekend in what is seen as a major step forward for the game in the west.
This inaugural tournament will feature six teams that excelled in the 2008 season; Ballinrobe Town (Texoil League winners ) and Kiltimagh/Knock (Texoil Cup winners ) from Mayo, Salthill Devon (Intermediate Cup winners ) and Galway Bohs from Galway, and North/East United and Beal na Muille representing Roscommon and west midlands.
"This tournament is a just reward for the success that western teams have had over the past number of seasons," says Connacht WFAI representative Jeremy Dee.
"The Mayo League and Galway League have won the FAI/Umbro Senior Cup in successive seasons, while Ballina Town, Kiltimagh/Knock, and Salthill Devon have won the FAI/Umbro Intermediate Cup, with Galway Bohs runners up in that competition last season. Glen Celtic of Roscommon have also been FAI/Umbro Junior cup winners."
"We hope this type of tournament will be an incentive for all clubs to develop the women's side of their structure.”
The tournament is organised into two groups with the semi-finals and final scheduled for February.
The games kick off on Saturday with Ballinrobe Town at home to Salthill Devon and Kiltimagh/Knock at home to Galway Bohs.