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Women's Premiership to lead the way for league football's return in Northern Ireland

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The Danske Bank Women's Premiership is set to play a 10-game league season this summer.

The Danske Bank Women's Premiership is set to play a 10-game league season this summer.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

The Danske Bank Women's Premiership is set to play a 10-game league season this summer.

The Northern Ireland Football League are ready to give the green light to the Danske Bank Women's Premiership kicking off next month after an easing of restrictions by the NI Executive.

Sunday Life Sport revealed last week that the women's game is set to lead the country back into League football and that has now taken a step closer.

At a meeting last week, representatives of the six competing clubs confirmed to NIFL their determination to get the season started, but at the time they were unable to set a start date.

Until Friday, only elite sport at professional level was permitted to take place and, with the women's game in Northern Ireland being entirely amateur, only training sessions were able to take place.

Updated guidance from the Executive on Thursday opened the door for amateur and grassroots sport to return and Women's Premiership clubs will now be asked to confirm that they can run within IFA guidelines and prepare to start the season on either August 19 or 26.

Some logistical arrangements must be made as the use of changing rooms remains prohibited. The make-up of the Premiership, with the four main Belfast clubs - Cliftonville Ladies, Crusaders Strikers, Glentoran Women and Linfield Ladies - competing with north-west pair Derry City Women and Sion Swifts Ladies, brings about travel issues, with car sharing currently not allowed.

Clubs are appealing to the IFA for financial support in overcoming that particular problem.

A 10-match League season plus the Women's Irish Cup is expected to be confirmed soon.

Belfast Telegraph