Ten schools are set to challenge for the Danske Bank Girls’ 11-a-side Trophy in Newtownabbey tomorrow (7 March).
Each school has qualified for the finals day at the Valley Leisure Centre from regional competitions staged across Northern Ireland.
The schools involved are Holy Cross College Strabane, Rathmore Grammar Dunmurry, Portadown College, Kilkeel High School, St Patrick’s College Dungiven, Abbey Community College Newtownabbey, Parkhall Integrated College Antrim, St Cecilia’s College Derry-Londonderry, Our Lady and St Patrick’s College Knock (east Belfast) and cup holders Dominican College (north Belfast).
Dominican College will be looking to repeat last year’s success in the competition in just their second year of taking part in schools’ football competitions.
Coach Jessica Foy is under no illusions about the challenge that lies ahead. She explained: “We came through a very tough regional qualifier to reach the finals day. It was extremely tight and competitive.
“It’s great to see the level of competition increasing. We know what the girls can do on the day but we also know it’s going to be a big challenge to retain our title, however it’s a challenge we are excited to take on.”
The competition will run on two pitches at the Valley Leisure Centre, initially via two groups of five teams. The winning team from each group will then meet in the final to see which one is crowned champions for 2022-23. The matches are due to be staged from 10am until around 2pm.
Irish FA Foundation Schools and Futsal Officer Damian McLaughlin said: “I am really looking forward to the finals. With 10 schools involved there is going to be a really great atmosphere and plenty of excitement around each of the games.
“I was really impressed with the quality of play in each of the regional competitions. I know that the girls are looking forward to finals day and will be raising their games in order to try and grab the glory for their school. It has all the ingredients to be a fantastic event for those playing and for those watching.”