Mid Ulster Ladies FC kick off the 2016 Danske Bank Women’s Premiership against newly-promoted Derry City on Wednesday at MUSA at 7.30pm.
While the club don’t charge admission to watch their games they are planning to have a bucket collection at the game for Air Ambulance Northern Ireland in memory of club member Lesley-Ann McCarragher who passed away last weekend.
The first season of women’s football kicked off in 1977 so this is the 40th season. However, it is the first that is administered by the NI Football League.
This season will see eight teams competing for the championship: Cliftonville, Crusaders Strikers, Derry City, Glentoran Belfast United, Linfield, Mid-Ulster, Newry City and Sion Swifts.
The season was launched at an event in Belfast’s City Hall with representatives and players from all eight teams in attendance.
Chairperson of the Women’s Premiership Committee Maura Muldoon said: “To have Danske Bank as sponsor of the new Women’s Premiership in our inaugural season is truly wonderful. Danske Bank is an international brand and this sponsorship deal is evidence of the ambition of the NIFL to build the women’s brand of football.
“With their support I have no doubt that we can establish the brand by producing an exciting season of women’s football, with the winners going on to compete in European competition.”
Nicola McCleery, Head of Marketing at Danske Bank added: “We are delighted to support the Women’s Premiership at what is a really exciting time for women’s football in Northern Ireland.
“We hope our support will help give Northern Irish women’s football at all levels the status and recognition it deserves and inspire many more girls and young women to get involved and to reach their full potential in the sport.”