In attendance at the Avenir Sports All-Island Cup draw were, from left, Chloe Singleton of Athlone Town, Demi Vance (Glentoran) and Courtney Maguire (Shelbourne). Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Athlone Town learn fate in new All-Island Cup

Athlone Town have been drawn alongide Shelbourne, Galway United and Linfield in the inaugural staging of the Avenir Sports Women's All-Island Cup.

The draw was made in FAI Headquarters today (Thursday), with Chloe Singleton in attendance to represent Athlone Town.

SSE Airtricity Women's Premier Division champions Shelbourne defeated Athlone in last season's FAI Women's Cup final, in addition to edging out the midlanders for the league crown.

Shels are currently sixth in this season's table, with Galway fourth and Athlone sixth.

In Group C, SportsDirect Women's Premiership winners Cliftonville will come up against Bohemians, Derry City and Sligo Rovers.

In the other groups, Glentoran take on Peamount United (the current leaders in the Women's Premier Division), Shamrock Rovers and Wexford Youths, while Cork City will face Crusaders, DLR Waves and Treaty United.

In order to aid Ireland's preparations for FIFA Women's World Cup 2023, the SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division season was structured to allow for a period where no league games would take place. This new competition will now be played during that scheduled break to ensure that women's domestic football continues to be played as excitement for the World Cup builds.

The competition, which is supported by both the Football Association of Ireland and the Irish Football Association, will involve 16 teams in total – 11 from the League of Ireland, five from the Northern Ireland Football League – split into four groups of four teams.

The group games will take place on the week ending June 18, June 25 and July 2. The top teams in each group will progress to the semi-finals, which will be played on the week ending July 9, before the last two compete for the silverware in the final on July 16.

Tommy Conneely, owner of Avenir Sports, said: "This partnership is about more than sponsorship; it’s a testament to our commitment to facilitating sporting excellence, promoting inclusivity, and fostering a vibrant community based around sport."

Avenir Sports All-Island Cup

Group A: Athlone Town, Galway United, Linfield, Shelbourne.

Group B: Glentoran, Peamount United, Shamrock Rovers, Wexford Youths.

Group C: Bohemians, Cliftonville, Derry City, Sligo Rovers.

Group D: Cork City, Crusaders, DLR Waves, Treaty United.