The 10th season of the Women’s National League was originally scheduled to start in March but the COVID-19 pandemic put that on hold and clubs have been waiting patiently ever since.
Now, the focus can switch to preparing for a safe return to play and the FAI will aid that by making a financial package available to each of the nine clubs.
Affiliation fees have been waived, a participation grant will be provided, prize money will be spread out equally, and there will be funds available to ensure all clubs can upgrade their grounds to follow safety protocols.
The FAI will also supply a special COVID-19 Assistance Grant to help each of the clubs who will have suffered financial losses due to the pandemic disrupting the original start to the season.
There will also be additional support given to teams in the Under-17 League.
Clubs will be able to access performance analysis for their games following a link up with Avenir Sports and using the Hudl and WyScout platforms.
Each club has been provided with a video camera, tripod, and memory card to record their games.
The first series of games kicks off on the second weekend of August and that will signal the beginning of Phase One, where every team will face off against each other. There will then be a split for Phase Two, where clubs will be separated into two sections and playing each other again.
Peamount United, who lifted the title last season, will represent the League in the UEFA Women’s Champions League and their Qualifying Round is due to start in early October.