Bray to join Women's Under-17 League


On 06 September, it was announced that Bray Wanderers had applied to join the 2020 Só Hotels Under-17 Women’s National League.

Club Chairman Niall O'Driscoll said: "Our long-term plan with our partner clubs is to have a complete pathway for girls from age eight right up to senior level for every girl should they want to play football.”

Bray had a women's team from 2003 until 2010, playing in the Dublin Womens Soccer League, and were invited to join the new Women's National League in 2011, but having agreed were in the end unable to call on the resources needed, and withdrew before the season started.

Former Bray Wanderers Ladies players took a leading role in the women's game at the celebration of Locker Davis in Stradbrook last month.

The women's game has a long history in Ireland.

On 18 May 1896 the "British Ladies Football Club" played a match at the City and Suburban Ground, Jones's Road, Dublin - later better known as the site of Croke Park. The following week, a match was played against a team of "Dublin Gentlemen" at the same venue, with the Ladies winning 5-2. And a month later a match the ladies' club played at Moville, Co Donegal was billed as"England v Ireland".

But after the Great War, with ladies' matches attracting crowds sometimes bigger than top men's teams, the (English) Football Association set its face against women's football in the 1920s, and it was banned until the 1970s.

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