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Electric six

Cliftonville Corinthians will begin the new Electric Ireland Women’s Academy League season with a trip to face Derry City Ladies Under-19s tomorrow night.

While their senior counterparts have enjoyed a perfect start to their Danske Bank Women’s Premiership campaign with six wins from six games, the Reds’ youngsters will be one of six Clubs battling for underage honours in the months ahead.

The NI Football League formed the Electric Ireland Women’s Academy League in 2019 to provide a pathway for the best Under-19 players to progress into the top division of women’s football.

Cliftonville Corinthians, Crusaders Strikers U19s, Derry City Ladies U19s, Glentoran Women Reserves, Linfield Ladies Swifts and Sion Swifts Ladies U19s will participate in a series of competitive games, dedicated development days and learning opportunities throughout the season calendar.

Steven Mills, Interim Managing Director of NI Football League, said: “The Women’s Academy League continues to be a vital stage in the development of players and provides a clear and direct pathway into the Women’s Premiership. We are delighted to continue our partnership with Electric Ireland for a third season as their ongoing support is vital to the growth of our member Clubs and League.”

Anne Smyth of Electric Ireland added: “The Electric Ireland Women’s Academy League is important to our shared objective of enabling the talent of the future to be true game changers. We are delighted to see the best young talent return to the pitch and we look forward to watching the teams’ progress as the season gets under way this weekend.”

The new League will benefit from the Electric Ireland Game Changers campaign, which includes initiatives with the Irish FA such as the Electric Ireland ‘Excellence’ and ‘Shooting Stars’ Programmes, which aims to change the landscape of female sport and encourage participation and elite opportunities for players. The initiatives are helping sow the seeds of future success and creating an environment in which female sporting achievements are nurtured and celebrated at every age throughout a player’s development.