Soccer

Revamped Dundalk & District League planning to attract top local clubs

Sport

David Lynch

Reporter:

David Lynch

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editor@dundalkdemocrat.ie

Revamped Dundalk & District League planning to attract top local clubs

The committee members of the DDL at Thursday's meeting

A "no brainer" was how Dundalk & District League committee member Robbie Rafferty described the idea of clubs from across the region joining the revamped and modernised league, now in its 100th year, at last Thursday's first meeting at Intact Software at the Blackthorn Business Park in Dundalk.

During an impressive launch, which included an introduction to the league's history by Chairman Robbie Rafferty Snr, along with a detailed overview of what the plans are for the season ahead, the Dundalk & District League (DDL) is hoping to go head-to-head with the NEFL (North East Football League) as it attempts to attract the area's top clubs.

The league has always run on a summer schedule, but with the NEFL also moving to the same schedule this year, it is clear there will be competition between the rival leagues for the attentions of local clubs.

2019 marks the 100th year of the DDL and the league is certainly working on making it a "special one" - as the literature handed out to the representatives from 15 local clubs in attendance on Thursday said.

At the top table Robbie Rafferty added that another five or six other clubs had expressed an interest on top of the aforementioned 15 in attendance.

One of the main selling points at the meeting, expressed several times by the top table, is the short travel time for clubs in the league - maximum journey time of 35 minutes to a match, which is comparatively short compared to other leagues.

The DDL season will run from March to October as a standard summer season.

Improved social media and communication channels were also unveiled, including featured games streamed live, improved partnership with local media bodies, up-to-date social media management and monthly and yearly awards.

The league hopes to put in place three divisions - a premier, a championship and an A-league. Teams will compete in leagues with relegation/promotion playoffs and three cup competitions.

There are also plans to run an Under 19 league after the success of the inaugural run out last year.

There were also longer term plans of launching a Ladies league based on the league being fully inclusive.