Girls have a ball in first week of league
The Louth School Girls League's cup and ladder competitions kicked off at the weekend, with 15 teams in action right across the county.
From Blackrock to as far afield as Bettystown in Meath, the girls showed the boys how it was done, with goals smashed in from every angle and plenty of silky skills on display.
The need for an all-girls league in the North East had been clear for some time. Backed by the FAI, Louth County Council Sports Partnership and the Louth football clubs, a committee was formed 12 months ago to put the foundations in place.
In preparation for the full league launch, 10 weeks of Saturday blitzes were organised from March to June of this year, with 250 girls across 10 different clubs taking part. The blitzes were a great success, and despite some truly awful weather the girls kept coming back for more.
The LGSL supports three age groups currently - Under-7s, Under-9s and Under-11s and the youngest of those groups will continue their development when the Saturday blitzes recommence in the coming weeks.
The Under-9s, playing five-a-side, will take part in a ladder competition over the next six weeks, a ladder league being one that is designed so that teams play mostly against teams of similar skill levels. That way the focus remains on fun and enjoyment throughout.
The Under-11s, playing seven-a-side, will take part in a cup competition in the first half of the season, with Champions League-style group stages and knockout phases for the Dundalk Credit Union Cup and Shield to follow that.
The league is also supporting a representative county team at Under-13 level, and through the FAI Emerging Talent Programme (ETP) these girls will hopefully represent the county at the Gaynor Cup in June 2020.
The clubs involved in the league to date are Albion Rovers, Ardee, Castletown Belles, Donacarney Diamonds, East Meath United, Glen Magic, Quay Celtic, Redeemer, Rock Celtic and Walshestown.
However, there is capacity for more clubs to come on board and all of the clubs above are keen to recruit more girls to join in on the fun.
More information is available from the clubs themselves or you can contact the league via email on firstname.lastname@example.org, through the facebook page Louth School Girls League or the league website https://louthschoolgirlsleague.leaguerepublic.com.