The SSE Airtricity League First Division will be a nine-team league for the 2022 season as a result of the amalgamation of Bray Wanderers and Cabinteely.

The Board of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) has approved the format for next season, which will consist of four rounds of games scheduled to begin on 18 February.

The nine-team format will see the champions promoted automatically to the Premier Division with the sides finishing in second, third, fourth and fifth spots contesting a promotion/relegation play-off series alongside the team that finishes ninth in the top flight.

The First Division teams finishing second and fifth and the teams in third and fourth place will play each other in a two-legged play-off with the winners then contesting a one-legged final.

The winner of this tie will then play the team that finishes ninth in the Premier Division to secure the final top flight spot for the 2023 season.

Fixtures for the new season will be released on Monday along with the fixture list for the 2022 Premier Division campaign.

Plans for the 2023 First Division will be evaluated during the course of next season.