Double winners Shelbourne and FAI Cup runners-up Athlone Town will meet in the curtain-raiser for the 2023 season in the Women’s Premier Division in the female game’s version of the President’s Cup which has the backing of Áras an Uachtaráin.
Arising from the interest in the League of Ireland from President Michael D Higgins, the President’s Cup – a clash of the league and FAI Cup winners from the previous season – was added to the calendar for the 2014 season, Shamrock Rovers the holders after they beat St Patrick’s Athletic on penalties 12 months ago.
But the women’s game will now have the same stage to play on, as Athlone Town will host Shelbourne on Saturday February 25, Athlone beaten by Shels in the Cup final last year.
“It is fantastic to have Uachtarán na hÉireann Michael D Higgins endorse this President’s Cup for the Women’s Premier Division. The President has always been a fervent supporter and terrific ambassador for Irish football,” FA president Gerry McAnaney said.
“This fixture is a welcome addition to the League of Ireland calendar and it will showcase the quality of our domestic game, which continues to grow on the back of a memorable season last year.
“As part of the rebrand of the League of Ireland, we want to mirror the promotion of the game equally across the men’s and women’s divisions. This game allows us to do just that and we are excited to see both Athlone Town and Shelbourne in action to help us launch the 2023 season.”