EA Sports announced as main sponsor of the 2021 National Underage Leagues

EA SPORTS will become the title sponsor of the EA SPORTS National Underage Leagues for the upcoming 2021 season.

The sports video game manufacturer have been long-time supporters of Irish football having previously been title sponsors of the League Cup since 2009 and this new partnership will see EA SPORTS sponsor all League, Shield and Cup competitions across both male and female academy systems. 

14 September 2019; Dundalk players celebrate after the EA Sports Cup Final match between Derry City and Dundalk at Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium in Derry. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

With government guidelines now allowing it, the new season will kick-off on the week ending June 27th and there are some exciting changes to look out for, including: 

•  The Women’s National League has added a new tier at Under 19 level.  
•  Waterford FC are new additions to the expanding Women’s National League with the introduction of their Under 17 team.  
•  Underage Finals will be live streamed, with full match commentary, on LOITV at the end of the season. 
• The Men’s Under 13 League has been revised to an Under 14 League. 

Speaking on the new announcement, newly appointed League of Ireland Academy Development Manager, Will Clarke said:

“We are very excited with the prospect of collaborating with EA SPORTS to further enhance the development of our League of Ireland academy system and we are delighted that a brand such as EA SPORTS sees the potential in our underage game. We look forward to working closely with EA SPORTS in the coming years.” 


2 May 2016; Nenagh captain Jack Dunne lifts the cup after victory over Wilton United. FAI Umbro U17 Cup Final, Nenagh v Wilton United. Janesboro FC, Janesboro, Limerick. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE

League Format

• Men’s Under 19: Two groups; each playing one series of games. The competition then splits with the top ten teams progressing to the League phase and the remaining teams competing in a Shield competition.  


• Men’s Under 17: Three groups; each playing one series of games. The competition then splits with the top nine teams progressing to the League phase (top three teams in each group) and the remaining teams competing in the Shield competition. 


• Men’s Under 15: Five groups; each playing two series of games. The competition then splits with the top ten teams progressing to the League and the remaining teams competing in the Shield competition. 


• Men’s Under 14: Five groups; each playing two series of games. The competition then splits with the top ten teams progressing to the League and the remaining teams competing in the Shield competition. 


• Women’s Under 19: Two groups; each playing one series of games. The competition then splits with the top five teams (top two teams in each group and the best third place team) progressing to the League phase and the remaining teams competing in a Shield competition. 


• Women’s Under 17: Three groups; each playing one series of games. The competition then splits with the top eight teams progressing to the League phase (top two teams in each group and two of the best third-placed teams) and the remaining teams competing in the Shield competition.  

All age groups will also feature in a cup competition.

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