The draw for the Avenir Sports Women's All-Island Cup was made in FAI Headquarters with 16 teams taking part in the inaugural staging of the competition.
Sports Direct Women's Premiership winners Cliftonville will come up against Bohemians, Derry City and Sligo Rovers while SSE Airtricity Women's Premier Division champions Shelbourne were paired with Athlone Town, Galway United, Linfield in Group A.
In the other groups, Glentoran take on Peamount United, Shamrock Rovers and Wexford Youths, then Cork City face off with Crusaders, DLR Waves and Treaty United.In order to aid the Ireland Women's National Team's preparations for FIFA Women's World Cup 2023, the SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division season was structured to allow for a period where no League games would take place.
This new competition will now be played during that scheduled break to ensure that women's domestic football continues to be played as excitement for the World Cup builds.
The competition, which is supported by both the Football Association of Ireland and the Irish Football Association, will involve 16 teams in total – 11 from the League of Ireland, 5 from the Northern Ireland Football League – split into four groups of four teams.
The group games will take place on the week ending June 18, June 25 and July 2. The top teams in each group will progress to the semi-finals, which will be played on the week ending July 9, before the last two compete for the silverware in the Final on July 16.
Tommy Conneely, owner of Avenir Sports, said of sponsoring the competition: “We at Avenir Sports are thrilled to be the new sponsors of the inaugural women’s all-island competition. Having a long-standing relationship with both the League of Ireland and the Northern Ireland Football League, we are delighted to have the opportunity to work with them both on such an exciting collaboration."
Avenir Sports are passionate about supporting and advancing sports performance at all levels. We believe in the power and potential of women’s football, especially this year as we look forward to the Women’s World Cup.
A real chance for women’s football to take centre stage and showcase the talent we have across this island."This partnership is about more than sponsorship; it’s a testament to our commitment to facilitating sporting excellence, promoting inclusivity, and fostering a vibrant community based around sport. We look forward to helping make this a highlight of the football calendar and believe it will only evolve and flourish with our shared effort.”
Avenir Sports All-Island Cup
Group A | Athlone Town, Galway United, Linfield, Shelbourne
Group B | Glentoran, Peamount United, Shamrock Rovers, Wexford Youths
Group C | Bohemians, Cliftonville, Derry City, Sligo Rovers
Group D | Cork City, Crusaders, DLR Waves, Treaty UnitedFixtures
Group Stage - Round 1 | Week ending June 18
Group Stage - Round 2 | Week ending June 25
Group Stage - Round 3 |Week ending July 2
Semi-Finals | Week ending July 9
Final | July 16