Sunday 21 July 2019

Historic moment for soccer in Drogheda

Hubert Murphy

What is being hailed as one of the most significant moments in Drogheda schoolchildren's football is set to transform the game locally.

From next March, the NDSL, the NEC and the Drogheda league will enter teams in a united North Leinster Elite league, catering for under 12-16 plus 17s and 18s.

The North Dublin League will have five teams in each age group, four from the wider Meath area and three from Drogheda.

It will be structured that teams can be relegated, but they'll be replaced by a team from the same area, meaning Drogheda will always have three teams in action.

The Drogheda League will also combine with the NEC to form a new regional league at 11-a-side level to make sure that leagues are competitive and players get a taste of new opposition each week from outside their area.

The Drogheda League will retain a cup competition to be played between the local teams.

And to keep the level of teams in the Drogheda area, it has been agreed between the three leagues that there is now a three year embargo on clubs moving between leagues.

The Elite leagues will contain 12 teams and teams must register by December 21.

The process is aimed at improving the standard of football and allowing players and clubs to reach their potential.

The new system is likely to give Drogheda's ETP a further boost, coming hot the heels of the success of Duleek's star goalkeeper, Summer Lawless. The gifted custodian has been capped at Leinster level in recent weeks and seems destined for great things. She is part of the Kennedy Cup programme and aims to stake her place in the squad for Limerick in 2019.

Drogheda Independent