Kildare & District Football League Season Preview.
The KDFL kick off their 29th Season this weekend with an increase in affiliated teams. Following a shortened season in 2021 and no competitive football in 2020 it full steam ahead for the first full playing season since April 2019.
A new look Senior Division with the introduction of newly promoted Coill Dubh AFC making a return to the top flight and Kilcock Celtic, joining the newbies are Athy Town AFC another welcomed addition to the Division brining it up to 12. All new entrants will be eager to make their mark early on. They will take their place alongside last years champions Clonmullion AFC, runners up Rathangan FC together with Senior up champs 2021 Clane United, Shield winners Naas United FC and St. Patricks Well FC, Kilcullen AFC, Suncroft AFC, Kildare Town AFC and Ballycane Celtic, who are celebrating their 20th anniversary this season.
The Premier Division has had some what of a reshuffle with the introduction of four Division 1 clubs, Champs Clane United, runners up Sallins Celtic and Monasterevin FC and Suncroft FC will be joined by current premier Clubs Straffan AFC, Newbridge Hotspurs, Caragh Celtic, Arlington FC and Allenwood Celtic. With almost half the teams new entrants it is sure to be very competitive.
As with the Premier and to make room for new entrants in the lower division Division 1 has also gone through somewhat of change with five teams making the debut. Newly promoted and double winning champs from 2021 Old Fort Celtic and runners up St Anthony’s Youths FC who have both come in with second teams this year. They will be joined by other new entrants Newbridge United and Moone Celtic and Arlington FC, Arlington also increasing their participation in the KDFL with the introduction of a third string this season. All five take their place among current Div 1 Clubs Naas AFC, Newbridge Hotspurs FC second string, Coill Dubh’s seconds and Castle Villa AFC. Always very competitive in this division with the new clubs wanting to put their stamp on the division.
Division 2 is almost recognisable with six, possibly seven new entrants. Old Fort Celtic, St. Anthony’s Youth, Arlington FC, Clonmullion and Kildare Town AFC all coming in with additional teams. While Maynooth Town AFC make a return to the KDFL. They will be joined by current members Athy Town’s second string, Newbridge Hotspurs third string and Caragh Celtic’s second string. Kilcock may also enter.
Due to new entries the Masters has returned to two divisions to cater for the numbers. Division 1 comprises of last season’s double winners Maynooth Town AFC (A) and runners up Newbridge Town FC they will be joined by Rathangan AFC, Kilcock Celtic FC (A), Clane United FC and new entrants for the first time Celbridge Town AFC and Leixlip United FC returning to the KDFL following a few years absence.
Division 2 will be made up of Monasterevin AFC, Enfield Celtic, Straffan AFC, Maynooth Town’s second string and Kilcock Celtic’s seconds and a newly formed masters side from Arlington FC. The Masters division have always proved to be very competitive. Most entrants will be out in the coming weeks also at provincial level when they will enter in the Leinster Football Association Over35 Cup which is a summer competition. They also have a domestic masters cup, shield and plate competition so lots of football for the veterans of the game.
The womens Division sees the return of Allenwood Celtic women and Kilcullen AFC they will be joined by last years womens champs Sallins Celtic FC, runners up Clane United, together with Monasterevin AFC Athy Town AFC Rathangan AFC Moone Celtic and Edenderry Town. We also welcome Enfield Celtic women to the Division making up a very healthy ten team League.
The KDFL also hope to have a womens developmental division kick off later in April/May which will be predominately Under 17 with some overage players. This division will be played on Thurs/Friday evenings, allowing the girls to also tog out on Monday evening with the first teams if needed.
Also on the horizon is an under 20 mens League which will be played in the winter months, kicking off in September. If all enquiring please contact the League Secretary on 0879557461.
On the competitive front at the moment the KDFL Women’s Inter League team play their first competitive game in the FAI Angela Hearst Inter League Trophy this Sunday at 3pm in Mullarney park, Castledermot in defence of their 2019 title. They take on their 2019 final opponents Wexford Women’s League. There is no admission fee to this National game and we would encourage you to come along and cheer on the girls.
A lot to look forward to over the next eight months and beyond, culminating with the League Annual Presentation evening in November.
Best wishes to all Clubs over the coming Season from all of us.