Ladies to share NFL billing with men on two occasions

Double-headers away to Monaghan and Dublin

Paul Brennan

The Kerry ladies footballers will take part in two double-headers with their male counterparts in this year's National Football Leagues in a move to give more exposure to the women's game and encourage more supporters to get out and watch their female footballers in action. Kerry's two double-headers will be away from home, with the first away to Monaghan on February 11 before an exciting opportunity to play Dublin in Croke Park ahead of the men's Allianz League fixture between last year's League finalists on March 3.

The Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) has made significant progress in organising 'double-headers' alongside men's National League fixtures and this year eight Lidl NFL ties are set to serve as curtain-raisers ahead of matches involving the men's teams from the host counties. Five of the eight games are high-profile Lidl NFL Division 1 showdowns, with three matches in Division 2 also accommodated.

The Kerry versus Dublin link-up on Saturday, March 3 promises to be a highly anticipated double-header when Munster champions Kerry face the All-Ireland ladies senior football champions Dublin at 5pm for what should be a fascinating curtain-raiser to what will be a rematch of last year's Allianz League Final that saw Kerry beat defending League champions Dublin. That game also brought to an end Dublin's record making 36-game unbeaten run across League and Championship. Both those games will be played under Croke Park's floodflights, with the men's game set to start at 7pm.

On Sunday, February 11 both Kerry teams will be in Patrick Kavanagh country for a double-header with Monaghan. The women will have a 12 noon start against Monaghan in Páirc Grattan, Inniskeen before Eamonn Fitzmaurice's charges take on the Farney men at 2pm in what will be their third Division 1 outing of the campaign.

The Kerry ladies get their Division 1 NFL season underway on Sunday, January 28 with a home game against reigning League champions Cork, before hosting Mayo seven days later on February 4. Incidentally, the Kerry men will be in Mayo that weekend for their Saturday evening Round 2 game in Castlebar.

The following weekend brings the double-header in Monaghan, before both teams take a two-week break. They both resume with Galway coming to the Kingdom on Sunday, February 25, but an obvious double-header hasn't been scheduled.

The double-header with the Dubs comes into play the next weekend, with another two week gap until the men host Kildare in Austin Stack Park on St Patrick's Day, March 17,

Both teams then complete their campaign with long trip north, with the women face Donegal and the men in Omagh to take on Tyrone, both on Sunday, March 25.