The 2022 EA SPORTS National Underage League season gets underway this weekend with three of our boys’ teams in action.
Across all age groups, the season will be divided into two phases where the first phase will be based on the geographical location of the clubs. The second phase will be based on league positions from the first phase and will pit teams of a similar standard against each other on a National basis.
There have been a number of developments ahead of the 2022 season which will see an introduction of overage players in the U19 League so that senior players returning from injury or in need of game-time can take part. Also, a limited number of players who are U15 will be allowed to play in the U14 League and those who are U16 will be allowed to play in the U15 League, in a progressive move designed to provide more opportunities for players.
Players in the U14 and U15 league will now also be guaranteed a minimum of 30 minutes playing time where matches will be 90 minutes, split into 3 x 30 minute periods.
Dundalk FC U19
Head Coach: Tiarnan Mulvenna
Assistants: John Sharkey, Marc Griffin
GK coach: Mark Byrne
Sports scientist: Andrew Morrissey
S&C coach: Coran Lyndsay
Video analyst: Ryan Cleary
Physio: Fiona Curran
The Dundalk FC U19s have been placed in Group B of the EA Sports National Underage League for the first phase of the 2022 season.
They will face Athlone Town, Bohemians, Derry City, Drogheda United, Finn Harps, Longford Town, Shamrock Rovers, Shelbourne and Sligo Rovers.
At the end of the first phase, the league will split into two tiers, with the top five teams in each group moving into Tier 1 and the bottom five teams moving into Tier 2.
Head coach Tiarnan Mulvenna has retained a number of players from last season’s squad and has promoted a number of last season’s U17 squad including Craig Moore, Thomas Galvin and Jack Watters, who featured for the U19s towards the end of the 2021 season.
The U19s travel to the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium on Sunday afternoon to take on Derry City.
Dundalk FC U17
Head Coaches: James Toner, Conor Woods and Kevin Beggy
Leadership Group: Tom McLoughlin, Eoin Kenny and Jamie Ryan
GK Coach: Cian Maher
Dundalk FC U17s will play in Group A of the EA Sports National Underage League in the first phase of the 2022 season.
There are four groups in the league, and the Lilywhites will take on Cavan/Monaghan, Derry City, Finn Harps, Galway United and Sligo Rovers.
The top two teams in each group will enter Tier 1 for the second League phase, the middle two teams will enter Tier 2 for the Shield phase and the bottom two teams will enter Tier 3 for the Plate phase.
The U17s have retained five of last season’s squad, and will also still have the pair of Senan Mullen and Dualta Honney available to them, although they will predominantly feature for the U19s.
Eight of last season’s U15 squad have made the step up to the U17 squad this season, while current Dundalk FC U15 player and Republic of Ireland U15 international Luke Mulligan will also be available for selection. There have also been five other additions to the squad, who’ve arrived from clubs across the LOI and DDSL.
The coaching contingent is united in their aims for the coming season, which includes producing as many players as possible who will be ready for U19 football in 2022, developing players to achieve international call-ups and competing against the best sides in the country, while playing an attractive and exciting brand of football.
The U17s host Derry City at Oriel Park at 2pm on Saturday afternoon.
Dundalk FC U15
Head Coach: Simon Kelly
Assistant: Derek Delany
Dundalk FC U15s will be in Group B of the EA Sports National League in phase one of the 2022 season.
They will face Athlone Town, Bohemians, Klub Kildare, Galway United and St Patrick’s Athletic.
The league rules will operate the same way as the U17 EA Sports National Underage League.
Head Coach Simon Kelly has moved into the lead role in the side having managed the U14s to a very successful season last year and will have some members of his squad from last year in the side including underage Ireland international Luke Mulligan.
They will host Klub Kildare in their opening fixture this Sunday at Oriel Park. Kick-off is at 1pm.
Dundalk FC U14
Head Coach: Thomas McShane
The U14 League will begin on Saturday, July 2nd.