THE Football Association of Ireland has confirmed that the Mayo Schoolboys will be among 24 teams competing in the very first SSE Airtricity Under 15 National League.
The teams will participate in a shortened 2017 season - kicking off on the week ending August 20 - before a review process takes place ahead of the full season starting in March 2018.
The Under 15 League will be the entry level to elite football on the player pathway that already includes the SSE Airtricity Under 17 League, Under 19 League, First Division and Premier Division.
FAI high performance director Ruud Dokter welcomed the introduction of the Under 15 League, saying: “Having the league in place further develops the pathway to elite football for the country's most talented footballers.
“This now means that the very best Under 15 players throughout the country will play against the highest quality opposition, thus enhancing their development as they progress to top level senior football.
“I would like to congratulate each of the schoolboy clubs and leagues who successfully applied to forge partnerships with SSE Airtricity League clubs. I would also like to thank those who have been unsuccessful in their applications. The working group will continue to be available to work with these clubs on their future development plans.
In addition to the 20 existing SSE Airtricity League clubs, the new Under 15 league will include Mayo (as mentioned), Kerry Schoolboys League, Monaghan/Cavan Partnership, and St. Kevin's Boys. St. Kevin's will compete in the shortened season after agreeing to work towards creating a partnership with Bohemian FC, which will allow them to join existing partnerships into the National Leagues.
The truncated season will consist of four groups of six teams and the fixture list will be released ahead of the official league launch next month.