SSE Airtricity National U17 League is launched

FAI High Performance Director, Ruud Dokter, and Republic of Ireland assistant manager, Roy Keane, today officially launched the inaugural SSE Airtricity National U17 League at FAI headquarters in Abbotstown.

The introduction of the SSE Airtricity National U17 League ensures that the country's best young players come together to play at the highest level of football every week.

Ruud Dokter said: "The creation of the SSE Airtricity National U17 League is a very important development for Irish Football. It provides young players in Ireland with a regular challenging environment designed to produce high quality players to progress for the future.

"This new league bridges the gap between schoolboy football, which runs up to U16 level, and the SSE Airtricity U19 League, which is now firmly established as the springboard for young talented players into adult football.

"Many of the players who play in the SSE Airtricity National U17 League will have come through the FAI’s Emerging Talent Programme, and this will give them their first opportunity to play in a national league."

SSE Airtricity Marketing Manager, Áine Murphy, said: "We are very pleased to extend our sponsorship of the SSE Airtricity League to the SSE Airtricity National U17 League which we see as a natural addition to the SSE Airtricity National U19 League.

"SSE Airtricity is committed to playing our part in helping the growth of Irish football and is fully supportive of the SSE Airtricity National U17 League and its aims."

The League kicks off on the weekend beginning August 9. The first season will be truncated, and will end in December in line with the SSE Airtricity U19 League. The 2016 season will kick-off in alignment with the SSE Airtricity Premier and First Division seasons.