The League of Ireland First Division is also known as the SSE Airtricity First Division League. This is the second division in the Irish domestic league system. The Division was first created back in 1985, having taken the place of the former League of Ireland B Division.
Since 2003, the Division has been a summer league. There are ten teams that take part in this division and it is a great stepping stone for players and teams alike.
The history of the Airtricity First Division
There were five teams that in 1985 made the decision to become part of the League of Ireland. These teams were:
- Newcastle United,
- Derry City,
- Cobh Ramblers and
- Bray Wanderers.
These were five of the teams to take part in the very first season of the Airtricity First Division in 1985/1986. Monaghan United also took part in this league, having formerly been a part of the League of Ireland B Division.
The four other clubs to take part in the Airtricity First Division that year were Sligo Rovers, Longford Town, Finn Harps and Drogheda United. These four teams have been relegated from the premier division the previous season. The team to win this first iteration of the Airtricity First Division was Bray Wanderers.
As the Airtricity First Division is a second division, there are no European competitions spots up for grabs. However, there have been teams from the Division that have gotten into European competitions after winning the nation's FAI Cup. This has happened on a number of occasions over the years. There have also been teams from the Airtricity First Division that have qualified for Europe thanks to the UEFA Respect Fair Play system.
Waterford and Drogheda United have both won the Airtricity First Division on four different occasions, with Limerick, UCD and Bray Wanderers having three league titles each. Numerous quality players have earned their stripes in the Airtricity First Division before going onto bigger and better things.
The format of the First Division
There are ten teams that take part in the Airtricity First Division each season. Teams get promoted to and relegated from the premier division each season. Teams can also make it into the Airtricity First Division from the Leinster Senior League by getting an invite. The latest to do so was Cabinteely FC in 2015.
To get promoted out of the Airtricity First Division, the team that finishes at the top of the table will get automatic promotion. Then the team that finishes in second place will go into a play-off with the second team from bottom in the premier division. The winner of this play-off will get promoted if it is the team for the Airtricity First Division or else the premier division team will keep its place in this league.
Most of the clubs that play in the Airtricity First Division are in the greater Leinster area, which makes it ideal for teams and fans travelling. The main exceptions are Galway United and Cobh Ramblers.
The makeup of the League of Ireland
The original League of Ireland was set up in 1921 and it is made up of the premier division, the first division and then numerous underage leagues. The domestic cups under its umbrella are the FAI Cup and the President's Cup. There is also the League of Ireland Cup.
Games in the premier division and the FAI Cup are regularly broadcasted on television. The League of Ireland has become a fertile ground for English clubs to spot emerging talent and to take them across the water. Many of them go on to have glittering careers.
Betting with Roger.com
The Airtricity First Division is always an exciting league full of young players that are looking to impress the eyes of scouts to try and secure a move into bigger leagues. Therefore, there is always plenty of action to be seen. This is why a lot of people like betting on Airtricity First Division games. These will generally be betting markets offered by betting sites that place an emphasis on their sports betting offerings.
At Roger.com, you can check out quickly which operators have markets for Airtricity First Division games. You can then choose from a selection of markets, putting your knowledge to the test with the goal of profiting.