Shelbourne Ladies FC will compete in the Continental Tyres Women’s National League from the 2015-16 season, having announced a merger between the existing Shelbourne Ladies and Raheny United.
The merger comes after more than a year of discussions and collaboration, with players joining Raheny’s National League team from Shelbourne’s youths’ section.
Shelbourne can now offer young players a completed pathway in which they can develop and progress from underage football right through to the top tier of women’s football in a safe and secure environment where players can happily mature at their own pace. We are currently the biggest girls’ football club in the country with over 150 girls playing and training every week and this merger of two of the biggest clubs in women’s football can only improve standards across the board.
Fran Gavin, Director of the Continental Tyres Women’s National League, said: “I would like to welcome the merger between Raheny United and Shelbourne Ladies. The amalgamation of one of the country’s top senior women’s clubs with one of the top junior and under-age clubs is a positive development as it will give young players a clear and structured pathway into elite football and ultimately assist the development of women’s football in Ireland.”
Raheny United have been one of the most successful clubs in the Continental Tyres Women’s National League since its formation in 2011 winning two league titles, two FAI Cups and the League Cup in that time as well as reaching the last 32 of the UEFA Women’s Champions League last season after becoming the first Irish side to win a qualifying round group.
Shelbourne Ladies, who field teams in the Metropolitan Girls League, the Dublin Women’s League and Leinster Leagues, have also been extremely successful in recent years winning leagues and cups at domestic, provincial and national levels at all age groups. The club has also produced large numbers of girls for the Metro League Academy and has a number of international players at each age group.