Every team in the Irish FA Championship will look good on paper this season after the finalising of a new sponsorship deal with the Belfast Telegraph.
The new agreement with the Belfast Telegraph, which is initially for the remainder of the current season but with an opportunity to be extended next summer, will encompass both Championship One and Championship Two.
The Belfast Telegraph has displayed its commitment to junior and intermediate football with the publication of its supplement ‘The Park’ on Mondays.
The leagues will now carry the Telegraph title and will be known as the Belfast Telegraph Championship One and Belfast Telegraph Championship Two until at least the end of the 2011-12 campaign.
Aidan Murphy, chairman of the Championship Management Committee, confirmed the new sponsorship deal.
“It is fantastic for the Championship to have the Belfast Telegraph as its new title sponsor,” he said.
“The Telegraph is the highest selling daily newspaper in Northern Ireland and this new sponsorship will be a benefit not only to our football clubs but also for the Belfast Telegraph, as the Championship clubs are based right across the length and breadth of Northern Ireland.
“The sponsorship provides a much needed financial boost to the clubs and also gives the Championship a guaranteed media platform to raise the profile of the competition.”
Martin Mawhinney, editor of the Belfast Telegraph's ‘The Park’ stated: “We are proud of our association with local football and this agreement shall strengthen our commitment to the Championship.
“We will continue to bring our readers the first news of the big stories in Championship One and Two, every Monday, with reporter Keith Bailie keeping supporters up to date with what's happening around the clubs, as well as our weekly round-up of the weekend's matches.
“‘The Park’ is the first publication with the latest on the junior and intermediate scene each week, and we look forward to developing our relationship with clubs up and down the country.”
Fans of clubs in Belfast Telegraph Championship One and Championship Two are being treated to some thrilling football this season.
Murphy’s club, Armagh City, are currently in the thick of a promotion battle in Belfast Telegraph Championship Two, as one of four teams who trail leaders Coagh United by only two points.
Dundela, Armagh and Ballyclare Comrades all have two games in hand over Coagh, while Queen’s University have played one game less than the pacesetters.
In Belfast Telegraph Championship One the fight at the top is just as exciting.
Newry City, who were relegated from the Premiership at the end of last season, are unbeaten after seven games, but they are only a single point ahead of Ballinamallard United in the race to play with the big guns in the top flight next year.