LGFA president Micheal Naughton targets full Croke Park for All-Ireland ladies football finals

Mícheál Naughton became the president of the Ladies Gaelic Football Association on Saturday, taking over from Marie Hickey.

The Sligo native, representing Donegal and Ulster, took over the position from outgoing Marie Hickey, who had served six years at the helm, at Sunday’s virtual Annual Congress.

Naughton will now preside for the next four years – and lead the LGFA into its 50th year in existence in 2024.

Among the goals he mentioned ahead of his term in office, Naughton identified the aim of filling Croke Park for an All-Ireland final.

The ladies football final has grown in popularity in recent years, with a crowd of 56,114. However, Naughton feels that over 80,000 could be achievable.

“I will always do my utmost to continue the good work that has already been done. I will continue to champion one of the fastest growing female sports in Europe,” he said on Saturday.

“We’re not the finished article but we’ve built an Association that we should be very proud of.

“We need to focus on our biggest asset – our players. In my term as President, I would love to see Croke Park at full capacity for All-Ireland final day.

“Looking forward to the next four years, I want to continue on the great work and collaboration with the GAA and Camogie Association. I want to forge greater links and bonds.”

Hailing from West Sligo, but based in Donegal for over 23 years, Naughton is a former Donegal and Ulster Council Chairperson who also managed the Donegal ladies senior football team.

Affiliated to the Four Masters club, Naughton guided Donegal to the 2010 TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate crown during her first stint in charge, before returning to preside over a 2016 Lidl National League Division 2 title win.

In her final speech as President, Marie Hickey said: “Our links with the GAA and Camogie Association have never been stronger at national level. This will continue to improve as we work towards a federal system of governance.

“This is a time for great reflection – it has been an incredible journey.”

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