Sligo Rovers have been accepted into the SSE Airtricity Women’s National League from the 2022 season onwards.
As part of the entry into the WNL, the women’s team will play all home games at the Showgrounds.
The women’s management committee will be amalgamated into the overall club committee and the Bit O’ Red will continue to seek additional female representation on the club’s board.
IT Sligo have partnered with Sligo Rovers as part of the move to join WNL as female players follow their male counterparts in securing scholarships to study at third level and play for the Bit O’ Red.
Sligo Rovers chairperson Tommy Higgins has welcomed a historic moment for the club.
“This is a hugely significant development for Sligo Rovers. It completes the pathway for our academy female teams and gives them the same opportunities as their male counterparts which is so important.
“We have been conscious that a club of our stature – which represents the north-west in senior football – have not been competing at senior level and as a result prioritised our entry into the WNL as quickly as possible.
“Our club is based on inclusivity and community. Our female team will receive the necessary support in order to grow and compete at a national level.
“This development also complements the great work been done by the local Sligo-Leitrim clubs in growing the number of girls playing football and help participation levels.
“Today is the beginning of a new and exciting time for female football in the region. I’d like to thank IT Sligo for their ongoing support of football and helping us take this seismic step.”
Dr Chris O’ Malley, Vice President for research, innovation and engagement at IT Sligo, said:
“IT Sligo is delighted to work with Sligo Rovers on this great new development for women’s soccer in the region. It represents a major milestone in the further development of our partnership.”
Sligo Rovers have an Under 17 and Under 19 team currently playing in the Women’s National Leagues in those age groups.
Rovers head of academy Conor O’Grady added: “We’ve been very proud of our Under-17 and Under-19 teams in the progress they’ve made in these early years.
“Undoubtedly they deserve the pathway of a senior team and future international players will come through Sligo Rovers teams in the years to come. We already have reached that stage at underage level and we will get stronger and stronger.
“We have already have plans in place for next season. We will be in a growth phase as we join the WNL and I know the club will give all we can to support the players and coaches.”
Further announcements on the Sligo Rovers team in the WNL will be made shortly.