Irish women’s top-flight football has a different feel as the new season draws to a close.
In a way, the National Women’s League is gone. and replaced with a new look instead The league is now known as the SSE Airtricity League of Ireland Women’s Premier Division.
It also expanded from 10 to 11 teams, with Shamrock Rovers joining the party and making major moves during the off-season.
But another factor behind this is the fact that the league will receive a greater level of interest than ever before. As the Republic of Ireland is about to enter the World Cup this summer for the first time in its history.
As a result, Peamount United manager James O’Callaghan believes it is important for Vera Pauw to take as many domestic players with her as possible into the Girls in Green squad, which goes to Australia in July.
Of the 28 teams selected for the historic play-off victory over Scotland last October, only three played at home.
“It’s great for the league. Great for a country where the Irish women’s team has qualified for the World Cup,” he told RTÉ Sport at the League of Ireland 2023 launch at Dublin City Hall.
“And obviously because of this So the popularity of female games is coming. But say all that We’d love to see home-grown players build teams as well.
“I think that’s really important. to the development of the league”
O’Callaghan also called on the FAI and the government to provide incentives for “It’s even more interesting for players to be in the national leagues.”
“It can be difficult for players who leave the country. It doesn’t mean they will always improve or get better,” he said.
“If it’s the case that the player thinks ‘We have the highest league in our country. that all of our best players want to stay. And we have more and more people’s leagues. I think that’s going to be really important.”
O’Callaghan is entering his seventh season in charge of Peamount and after being involved in four title battles with Shelbourne, Athlone Town and Wexford Youths until the end of the 2022 season, the campaign will be even more competitive.
partly from the fact that the shamrock Rovers enter the league It has seen big stars like Áine O’Gorman and Stephanie Roche among others turning Peamount into Hoops.
Although Peamount – who launched their campaign against Athlone, the first President’s Cup winner on Saturday – had no choice but to accept those departures – eased by being able to retain some core members over the winter, along with New addition – O’Callaghan sees Rovers’ entry into league as net positive
“I’m glad that more men’s clubs send women into the Women’s National League. It will only improve things.
“I think the standard of the league right now is the best ever. No team can win the league. Most teams in their era can beat anyone. So it’s very important that everyone gets off to a good start.”
“As well, it’s a short league. There are only two games (20 games), so it’s important that you try your best.”
As Peamount is the only women’s club in a division where divisions are increasingly being drawn from divisions with men’s divisions, O’Callaghan adds that their own format also needs to be valued.
“I think that’s something that should be developed because it’s a good brand as well,” he said.
“For the past ten years, Peamount has been one of the leading clubs in the development of women’s football.
“They have developed a lot of players for different teams. in national leagues, national teams and players who play abroad.
“Yes (we) are underwhelming but how nice would it be to do something this year? We are all highly motivated.”