Republic of Ireland centurion Áine O’Gorman hopes that SSE Airtricity's sponsorship of the Women's National League can help end players having to pay to play in this country.
The 31-year-old captained Peamount to a league and women's FAI Cup double last term and admits most players are either forking out 500 Euro from their pockets or chasing sponsorship in order to play in the league.
"It's up to us in a lot of situations to go and get a sponsorship. I'm pretty sure that's the case right across the board," O'Gorman said at the announcement of SSE Airtricity as sponsor to both the League of Ireland and Women's League for the coming campaign.
“The clubs do the best they can. They need the money to run the club if they want to get buses to matches, food before training, physios at games. The backing of SSE Airtricity and hopefully increased prize money means that hopefully there's a situation where players don't have to pay any more.
“We should be striving to get semi-professional. We have to look at getting rid of pay to play first. We’re all completely amateurs so if we strive for semi professional status we can have a really good elite environment."
Wicklow-native O'Gorman added that the backing of their new sponsor could also help to increase exposure for the women's league, which is due to get underway on March 26th.
“I spoke to some people in SSE Airtricity earlier today and they do have great plans, they are really excited to have the WNL onboard but nothing is set in stone yet. It’s in their hands now.
"Hopefully we can get the same platform and exposure as the men get. Hopefully more games are shown. I think if you had more games on TV it creates greater interest and it would increase the standards. All we can do is improve our standards and hopefully the rest will happen."