Bohemians launch their new amputee team
The Dublin team will join Cork City, Shamrock Rovers in the first season of the competition. A fourth team is set to be announced in the coming weeks.
Amputee players Amanda King and James Conroy were joined at the launch in Dalymount Park by Bohemians manager Keith Long, members of the first team and Lord Mayor of Dublin Micheal Mac Donncha.
Football For All Coach and League Administrator Christy McElligott said the idea of league has been in fruition since last year.
"At the moment, the league will start with three teams but we hope to confirm a fourth before the season starts.
"By the end of the year, we hope to extend it further to six teams. When clubs see the benefits of initiatives like this, we think they will want to come on board.
"They will be impressed by the commitment and quality of the players involved, and by the standard.
"The games will be exciting, the games will be fun, the games will be competitive."
Former Bohemians youth player Stefan Balog had a leg amputated after an accident last year and he too will link up with the new team.
McElligott added: "This league gives people like Stefan the ability to do what they loved doing as a kid - play for Bohs. This is what it's all about."
Football For All National Coordinator Oisin Jordan was delighted to see Bohemians come on board.
"It's great to see a second SSE Airtricity League team in Bohemians launch their new Amputee football team adding to the Cork City team launched in late 2017.
"This has come about from the hard work over the past six years of the Irish Amputee Football Association board and its members supported by the FAI’s Football For All programme. Development of amputee football in Ireland has seen the game grow from an initial workshop ran in Dublin where 9/10 players tried the new format of the game for the first time.
"The game has grown since then with a junior academy being established, a senior team competing in the English Amputee Football League and an Irish International squad competing in a World Cup and European Championships.
"This next step will ensure a sustainable player and competition pathway for all existing players and will attract many new players to amputee football over coming years. I would like to thank Bohemians and Cork City for their commitment to amputee football and contribution to a more inclusive football family here in Ireland."
Chris Brien, President of Bohemians was delighted the club have joined the new competition.
"The idea of 'Football for All' is something we as a club strongly believe in.
"Beyond the first team, we want people playing for our club at all levels regardless of ability or disability.
"That's what a club should be about and we're delighted to be involved with the new league."
The first games of the new league will take place on January 20th in Middleton FC, Cork.