This week the Mayo Advertiser is delighted to announce that it has joined forces with the Mayo Football League. The Mayo Advertiser has come on board to sponsor the Mayo League’s divisional teams of the year from the Elverys Sports Super League down through the five divisions to the Welcome Inn Hotel League Two. The team of the year awards recognises a number of players for their performances over the course of the season in each of the divisions.
The chairman of the Mayo Football League, Padraig McHale, said: “I’m delighted to welcome the Mayo Advertiser on board with the Mayo League and I’m confident that the large readership of the Mayo Advertiser, both printed and digitally, will greatly help to promote our sport and our players over the seasons ahead. I’d like to thank management of the Mayo Advertiser for their support and looked forward to working together”
Fergal O’Connor, sales manager with the Mayo Advertiser welcomed the new relationship with the Mayo Football League. He said, “It’s a great day for the Mayo Advertiser to be joining forces with the Mayo League. The league is a positive force in the communities all over the county bringing people together in the name of sport and competition. The league has also branched out in recent years to keep former players active and involved in the game with the Masters Leagues which have been huge success over the past few winters.”
Mayo League reaches far into the community
There are more than 30 adult clubs in Mayo with over 41 teams in active competition each year, with another 16 masters team (over 35s ) playing competitive football. In 2011 over 1,600 adult males played in the league. The Mayo Association Football League was founded in 1954 and since then has grown into one of the biggest and most progressive amateur leagues under the jurisdiction of the Football Association of Ireland. Having started with just four clubs, the League had grown to 20 teams by 1974 and five years later there were 32 teams representing 30 clubs. Mayo League clubs have enjoyed considerable success at provincial level and took national titles when Erris United won the FAI Youths Cup in 2004, Westport United won the FAI Junior Cup in 2005, and Castlebar Celtic won the FAI Youth Cup in 2007. Over the past 25 years the League’s headquarters at Milebush Park, Castlebar, has been turned into an impressive soccer facility. Over €1.5m has been spent developing a top class pitch complete with grandstand and dressing rooms, a floodlight artificial pitch, offices and meeting rooms.
It is now an FAI regional centre and hosts the county and regional FAI Emerging Talent Programme as well as being home to a FAS training scheme. In 2005 the League was to the forefront in bringing all the football leagues in Mayo under the umbrella of the Mayo Football Development Partnership and in 2009 became the first league in Ireland to put its entire administration system online, including player registration.
In 2007, Mayo was the first county outside of Dublin to get a co-funded development officer when Mayo Co Council and the FAI joined forces to appoint Paul Byrne who is currently doing Trojan work with young people in local communities throughout the county. The following year the Mayo League hosted the FAI’s Annual General Meeting and Festival of Football in 2008. The Mayo League is a progressive, dynamic sports body committed to developing football and integrating its clubs within their local community.