Pictured at the launch of the Under 21 League at the TF Royal Hotel & Theatre, from left: Nigel Naughton (FAI development officer), Pat Jennings (TF Royal Hotel & Theatre), Gerry Sweeney (chairman, Mayo League) and Carmel Kelly (TF Royal Hotel & Theatre).

Inaugural Under 21 League attracts a big name sponsor

'Big appetite' for new league, says Mayo League chairman

By Brian Gillespie and Stuart Tynan

The newly-formed Mayo Under 21 League has attracted a major sponsor – the TF Royal Hotel & Theatre.

The competition will kick off adult football in Mayo this year this coming weekend (June 12/13), with some major games to look forward to in both competitions.

The new league, which was originally scheduled to begin at the end of May last year, was postponed along with all the other junior soccer leagues in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Accordin to the Mayo Football League, the inaugural Under 21 competition has thrown up huge interest around the county.

There are 14 teams split into two divisions, with the top two teams in each division qualifying for the semi-finals and the winners of Division 1 and Division 2 being decided during the finals weekend in November.

“The Mayo League are delighted to welcome The TF Royal Hotel & Theatre as sponsors of the competition and wish them the best of luck as they reopen fully,” said Mayo Football League secretary John Durkan.

He added: “We look forward to the action finally getting underway after a long break from action and are encouraged by the huge level of interest that's been shown in our newest competition.”

OPPORTUNITY

Mayo Football League chairman Gerry Sweeney hopes the Under 21 League will give an opportunity to clubs, who either wish to return to the league or join it for the first time, to enter an adult team in the future.

“It hasn't been done before. We believe there is a gap in the market,” said Gerry.

On the upcoming season, Gerry added: “The registrations are flying in. It's great to players coming and we're looking forward to action on the field. They're raring to go.

“We really did think the (the Under 21) league might have a negative effect on the game here in Mayo but thankfully, it's had a positive effect and there is a big appetite for it.”

The round one fixtures in Division 1 are: Glenhest Rovers v Claremorris, Manulla v Castlebar Celtic and Kiltimagh/Knock United v Conn Rangers.

The round one Division 2 fixtures are as follows: Swinford v Ballinrobe Town, Conn Rangers B v Conn Rangers C and Claremorris B v Straide & Foxford United.

*You can read our preview for each division online, starting with Division 1, from tomorrow.

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