2023 SSE Airtricity Women's PD set for kick off

2023 SSE Airtricity Women's PD set for kick off

The 2023 SSE Airtricity Women's Premier Division season kicks off on Saturday with five exciting games taking place - all live on LOITV.

Champions Shelbourne set about chasing a three-in-a-row as they take on Cork City, a new-look Galway United host Wexford Youths, Sligo Rovers welcome the returning Shamrock Rovers, Treaty United come up against Bohemians, Athlone Town entertain Peamount United, while DLR Waves are on a bye week.

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After strengthening their respective squads in the off-season, many clubs will have their sights set on a title push. Shelbourne still have an experienced core and added to that with the signings of Sophie Watters, Nadine Clare, Kerri Letmon, Maggie Pierce, Kayla Hamric, Christie Gray and Ruvimbo Mucherera. But the stand-out signing is former winger Siobhan Killeen rejoining The Reds.

Athlone Town already have some silverware collected after winning the inaugural President's Cup - a game which saw them give debuts to Nyla Peterkin, Julia Weithofer, Nauisca Costantini, Shauna Brennan and Chloe Singleton. They will be hoping to go one better than last year's finish as runners-up.

Shamrock Rovers are back in the League and they have recruited well with the likes of Amanda Budden, Jess Gargan, Melissa O'Kane, Savannah McCarthy, Jessica Hennessy, Shauna Fox, Alannah McEvoy, Abbie Larkin, Lia O'Leary, Áine O'Gorman and Stephanie Zambra. Plus they have some excellent young players ready to step up to senior football.

There are many reasons for Wexford Youths fans to get excited with firepower added through last year's Player of the Year Emily Corbet, speed and trickery brought in from Abbie Brophy and Shauna Carroll, plus experience added with Louise Corrigan and hometown favourite Rianna Jarrett.

Phil Trill is the new man in charge of Galway United, who have taken over from Galway WFC, with winger Gemma McGuinness catching the eye as their main acquisition. Watch out for youngsters Rola Olusola, Anna Fahey and the Brady sisters - Kayla and Leah.

There is also a new manager at the helm at Treaty United with Alban Hysa looking to lift the Limerick side after doing fantastic work at underage level with Peamount United. A number of North American players have arrived, including former Republic of Ireland WNT international Ciara McCormack, but trusting in local talent like Katie Lawlee and Heidi O'Sullivan could pay off.

Cork City will be determined to make a positive start to the season with manager Danny Murphy installing a new-found confidence in the squad. The capture of Jesse Mendez should prove to be key to their plans alongside the experienced trio of Zara Foley, Ciara McNamara and Danielle Burke. It could be a break-out year for Ireland underage stars Heidi Mackin, Ellie O'Brien and Fiana Bradley.

There has been a lot of change at DLR Waves but Graham Kelly has once again signed well. Isobel Finnegan, Hannah Tobin Jones and Bronagh Kane have arrived from Bohemians, Michelle Doonan from Peamount United and Vanessa Ogbonna from Wexford Youths, while club stalwart Catherine Cronin returns.

Bohemians made a big splash by adding three-time Ireland WNT ace Sarah Rowe, who will bring speed and athleticism. The midfield options have improved with Fiona Donnelly and Mia Dodd joining, while getting more service into Erica Burke will be a big part of The Gypsies' approach.

Sligo Rovers showed last year that they could stand up to the big teams on any given day. They will be planning to do the same again with opportunities set to be given to Donegal sisters Jodie and Kerri Loughrey, while local girl Alice Lillie could be a surprise hit.

At Peamount United, Karen Duggan takes over as captain as Becky Watkins, Orlagh Fitzpatrick and Carla McManus return to PRL Park. The signing of striker Kate Mooney is notable, as too is the promotion of talented youngsters like Sarah Power, Jess Fitzgerald, Ellen Dolan and Rachel McGrath.

With 11 teams now involved, this promises to be an entertaining season and you can watch every game live on LOITV.

SSE Airtricity Women's Premier Division - Round 1
Saturday, March 4

Galway United v Wexford Youths
Eamonn Deacy Park
KO 14:00
Referee: Daniel Murphy
LIVE on LOITV

Shelbourne v Cork City
Tolka Park
KO 14:00
Referee: Robert Dowling
LIVE on LOITV

Sligo Rovers v Shamrock Rovers
The Showgrounds
KO 17:00
Referee: Alan Carey
LIVE on LOITV

Treaty United v Bohemians
Markets Field
KO 17:00
Referee: Ian O'Keeffe
LIVE on LOITV

Athlone Town v Peamount United
Athlone Town Stadium
KO 19:00
Referee: Jason Moore
LIVE on LOITV

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