The 2023 women’s Airtricity League of Ireland season gets underway this weekend, after an eventful off season.
Transfers of high profile players, World Cup places at stake in the Summer, and the return of Shamrock Rovers make this season one of the most interesting in memory.
After winning the double last season, Shelborune will go into the season full of confidence, but will be all too aware of the challenges that face them.
Arguably their biggest challenge will come from the returning Shamrock Rovers, who make their return to the division after a nine-year absence.
Their high-profile recruitment shows their intentions for this season, with Ireland internationals Áine Gorman and Stephanie Roach among the big blame signings.
Young striker Abbie Larkin and goalkeeper Amanda Budden, who were crucial to Shelbourne’s success have also joined Shamrock Rovers.
While Alannah McEvoy, Aoibhe Fleming, Lauren Kelly and Summer Lawless have joined from Peaumount United.
The SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division kicks off this Saturday!#LOI | @loiwomen
— League of Ireland (@LeagueofIreland) March 1, 2023
Despite the star-studded side, they will face plenty of competition.
League and FAI Cup runners-up Athlone Town will be aiming to bring their game to another level after coming so close to silverware last season.
They will go into their opening fixture against Peamount full of confidence after their President’s Cup win over Shelbourne last weekend.
While Peamount United will be hoping to show they still have plenty to offer despite losing key players.
Elsewhere, Bohemians have signed the multi-coded Sarah Rowe, who will be hoping to hit the ground running, while Sligo Rovers will be hoping to build on a promising first season in the division.
In what will be the start of a fascinating season, here is the opening weekend’s fixtures.
Saturday March 4th
Shelbourne v Cork City, Tolka Park, 2.00pm.
Galway United v Wexford Youths, Eamon Deacy Park, 2.00pm.
Treaty United v Bohemians, Markets Field, 5.00pm.
Sligo Rovers v Shamrock Rovers, the Showgrounds, 5.00pm.
Athlone Town v Peamount United, Athlone Town stadium, 7.00pm.
All games are available to watch on LOI TV.