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Frustration grows among WNL clubs with no fixture list on horizon as FAI mull over Bohemians application

Fri, Feb 14 2020

Frustration is building within the Women’s National League as clubs seek clarity ahead of the 2020 season kick-off.

With just over a month until the league kicks off on March 15th, clubs are still in dark about fixture lists as the FAI continues to mull over Bohemians’ application to become the ninth team in 2020.

Athlone Town were announced as Kilkenny United’s replacement earlier this year as the latter were denied a license for the 2020 season.

Confusion continues to circle around Limerick, whose women’s side had been linked with the new Treaty United entity before it withdrew its application for the underage boys’ leagues.

Bohemians have expressed an interest in fielding a senior team for the first time in 2020 after a successful first year at under-17 saw interest grow rapidly.

Peamount United captain Aine O’Gorman voiced her frustration on Twitter earlier this week as the champions continue their pre-season without clarity over the league’s make-up.

“@peamountutd preseson in full swing. Any fixtures @FAI_WNL? It would be nice to know who [we’re] playing in the first game of the season,” the 100-times-capped international tweeted.

Other clubs have voiced their frustration privately, and plans to add an under-19 league were shelved after just three teams confirmed their participation for 2020.

Galway withdrew their interest over the lack of clarity, while it’s understood Wexford Youths, Cork City and DLR Waves were the only other teams to follow through with applications.

Some clubs who opted to delay a decision on participation until 2021 say they were informed that the majority of teams in the league had applied.

The current senior league format sees the eight senior teams face one another three times in total, amounting to 21 matchdays, alongside Shield, League Cup and FAI Cup competitions.

However, the addition of a ninth team would increase this to 24 rounds of games over 27 matchdays, which would further constrain an already crowded calendar.

The lack of clarity mirrors that which has disrupted preparations in the men’s First Division as the make-up and fixture list for the ten-team division was only confirmed eight days before kick-off.

The deadline for signing WNL players for the new season is Friday, February 21st and from then on only free agents can be signed.