At a photocall in Dublin City centre today, MMI Group was announced as the new sponsor of the Ladies Football Interprovincial Championship. The Championship will take place this Saturday in Páirc Chiaráin in Athlone with the tournament’s first throw-in at 11.00am.
MMI Group is a family run, Dublin based company specialising in the production of medals and other sporting awards. In existence for over 70 years, MMI already supply the GAA with their All-Ireland medals in addition to supplying medals to Basketball Ireland, Gaisce and Special Olympics.
Today’s announcement sees MMI Group coming on board as the official medal supplier to the Ladies Gaelic Football Association and this weekend will see their medals being presented to Ladies Footballers for the first time.
Speaking at the announcement, Uachtarán Cumann Peil Gael na mBan, Pat Quill commented: “We are delighted to welcome the MMI Group on board first of all as the sponsor of the Interprovincial Championship, but secondly as the official medal supplier for our Association at National level.
“They have a wealth of experience and the fact that they are still a family run business after 70 years is a credit to them. I am thrilled to be formally welcoming them into the Ladies Football family.”
James Marmion, Head of Sales for MMI Group, said: “MMI Group is delighted to be involved with the Ladies Gaelic Football Association and to be sponsors of the Ladies Football Interprovincial Championship for the first time. A newly struck medal for this competition will be presented for the first time and we believe it is an award that those who compete for it will agree is befitting of their tremendous efforts.
“We are proud to strengthen our ties within Irish sport with this new partnership with the LGFA. We have recognised the immense growth in popularity and profile of Ladies Football which is a reflection of the tremendous work carried out by staff, coaches, players and supporters of Ladies Football. We hope to be part of the LGFA’s future growth and we are sure that everyone involved in the sport will enjoy continued success.”
The panels for this weekend’s tournament were also named this week and feature a who’s who of Ladies Football talent. The team sheets on display in Athlone show quite a few players that featured in the recent National League Finals across all four divisions.
Ulster counties may not have reaped any rewards during the recent league finals but as defending champions they have plenty of experience to call upon with players from last years winning squad back again and with Monaghan, Tyrone and Armagh providing the backbone for their panel. Monaghan who went through the league unbeaten until coming up short to Laois have seven players on the panel.
The Munster panel is naturally enough dominated by Cork and Clare, winners of the Division 1 and Division 3 titles respectfully. The side will be captained by Valerie Mulcahy and will be hoping to win the Mick Talbot Cup for the first time since 2009.
Having been pipped by Ulster in last year’s final, Leinster are back looking for a first title since 2006. Managed by Dublin’s All-Ireland winning manager Gerry McGill, they will be looking to 12 Dublin players in their squad to bring back some silverware to the East. Division 1 finalists Laois, Division 2 finalists Meath and Division 4 winners Westmeath are all represented in the squad.
Last year was an all Galway affair, but this year the Connacht panel shows representatives from Mayo, Galway, Leitrim, Sligo and Roscommon. Gay O’Brien will be hoping to lead his charges to a first final since 2002 and a first title since 2000.
The four provinces will play a round robin format with the top two teams advancing to the Interprovincial Final and the other two provinces facing off in the Shield Final. The Interprovincial Final will throw in at 4.30pm, Saturday 21st May.