Crucial play-off for YM Ladies
YMCA Ladies FC face a crucial two legged play-off against Loughgall Lakers to try to maintain their NIWFA Frudles Premier League status.
The youthful YM side play the first leg on Tuesday, August 31, at Drumahoe (KO 7pm), before travelling to Lakeview Park, on Thursday, Septemnber 2 for the second leg.
Greg McKeever's girls have overcome many problems in their first season in the top tier of Women's football in Northern Ireland and have done exceptionally well to even get to a play-off position.
YM had to play most of the season without their two NI Senior International players Avilla Bergin and Kendra McMullan through injury and star striker Ursina Carpeder who was unavailable through work committments. Furthermore the club were docked 3 points due to player registration difficulties.
YM go head to head with former premier stalwarts Loughgall Lakers who were relegated through the Play-off trap door last year and are looking for a swift return to the senior ranks after narrowing losing out in the NIWFA Championship to Fermanagh Mallards in their last league match of the season last week.
The Drumahoe girls will have to do without the services of their influential midfielder Aine McKeever and forward Avilla Bergin who have gone to the USA to take up scholarship places at Quinnipiac and Fordham universities respectively and will also be without young 14 year old starlet Aoife Curran through injury.
But coach Greg McKeever is confident that players such as Archibald, McCarter, Sarah Bergin, Kendra McMullan and Swiss striker Ursins Carpeder will make up for the loss.
YM have impressed everyone this season with their total football approach and it has been at the physical side of the game which the team has struggled a little bit with.
Lakers will be a strong physical side but YM will be hopeful that their first full season in the top tier where they have competed admirally against the likes of Crusaders, Linfield, Ballymena and Glentoran will stand them in good stead.
YM defender Laura Nicholas, who is only 15-years-old, got a boost prior to the play-off matches when her performances this season earned her a place in the Northern Ireland senior squad who travelled to Serbia and got a 0-0 draw at the weekend.
A sizeable crowd is expected at the Drumahoe on Tuesday night and everyone is welcome to come and support the local girls in their bid to retain their Premiership status and ensure that the North-West continues to be represented at the highest level of womens football in Northern Ireland.