Athenry Association Football Club 1971 to 1981

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Athenry Football Club


Back Row: J. Connolly, M. Kilkelly, J. Green, P. J. Kileen, P. Kilkelly. Front Row: P. Gillhooley T. Fahy, M. Morrissey, F. Joyce, G. Doherty. 

This was one of the best seasons for the club at senior level. They were winners of the O’Donaugh Cup, Runners-up in the League and Galway Area Finalists in the F.A.I. Junior Cup.

Paddy Forde – Chairman’s address: In retrospect, 1980 must be considered a memorable year in sporting terms for County Galway. Galway Hurlers achieved a 57-year-old dream by winning the McCarthy Cup while in football Galway Rovers created history by reaching its first ever League Cup Final.

Amid the resulting euphoria, sport at all levels within the county continued to prosper and in this respect Soccer in Athenry is no exception. Since its beginning in 1971 the club has continued to grow and expand and to involve more and more young players in a sport which is growing in popularity.

In its relatively short history, the club’s main emphasis has been on the provision of facilities to enable players to attain the level of physical fitness necessary to participate successfully in local competitions. The results are very encouraging; a realisation that maximum enjoyment from involvement in the sport is derived only through regular physical preparation; a growing awareness of the need for coaching youth on the many skills of the game and the considerable success which the club has enjoyed at the various levels of competition.

It is fitting that on its tenth anniversary the club should receive an invitation to visit London and compete against clubs there. That it should receive this invitation from the captain of the Irish Soccer team, Tony Grealish, is indeed an honour.

The tour goes ahead on March 13th when a team of players and friends travel to London and we take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to all who have helped in this venture and to wish them every success.

Athenry Team – 1981

Back row: C. Dempsey, J. Murphy, P. Hansberry, P. Hession, P. Forde, D. Ward, D. Jennings, A. Prendergast, M. Gill, M. Loughnane. Front row: P. Farrell, M. Dunleavy, N. Murphy, S. Monaghan, P. Gilhooley, G. Doherty, M. Morrissey, S. Burke, D. Glynn

Peter Gilhooley, Secretary: Athenry Association Football Club was formed in 1971. Now, ten years later, the Club is one of the most progressive clubs in Galway. At present, we have four teams, Community Games, Under 17, Reserve and Junior team. Our club grounds are at Raheen, which is situated about half a mile from the town centre. We have two pitches available to us, one of which, we use as a training ground is floodlit and the other for competition. Every member of the club would like to take this opportunity of thanking the Parish Grounds Committee for its contribution to the club by making these pitches available.

In the early days the club tried to get every young player in the parish interested in playing soccer. It proved successful in the season 1976-77 when we won our first major trophy – The Pierce Cup. We won ll eleven games in this competition, under the guidance of Dessie Glynn. Our next success came in the season 78-79 when we represented Galway with U.C.G. in the FAI Junior Cup. Since then, the club has been going through a transitional period in which we have blended youth with experience in the hope of building another successful team. I think we have got a good team together at the moment and I expect we will be winning another trophy in the near future.

I would now like to thank all the people who have contributed to the club, especially Henry Doherty and Tony Coffey who brought the it through the early years. To the local Carnival Committee, in which two other clubs are involved. I wish to express my gratitude as they have helped us in every way. Also, to Leo Coffey and Dessie Glynn who dedicated so much of their time to the club.

Finally, there are a few people I must give a special thanks to. They are Michael Morrissey, Gerry Doherty, Noel Ward, Patsy Lynch, Frank Joyce and Paddy Forde, all these men have given up valuable time to make Athenry a successful soccer club.

Community Games Team 1974

Back Row: D. Jennings, P. J. Kindregan, T. Holian, W. Walsh, E. Murphy, A. Prendergast. Front Row: S. Moran, T. Hynes, D. Monaghan, S. Kearns, Burke, G. Burke.

Community Games Soccer U12: For the first time since 1974 when they were runners-up in the county, Athenry have a team in soccer. This year’s team done well after two challenge games against Claregalway, in the first game they played Oranmore and after full time the score was nil all. After extra time it was 1-1 all. It went to penalties and Athenry won 7-6.

In the quarter final Athenry were beaten 3-1 by Renmore. It was not a bad result because eleven out of the panel of 16 are under age this year. The club hope to start a league for Community Games this year.

Last year’s panel: T. Prendergast, E. Fox, S. Caulfield, M. Flannery, P. Smith, B. Burke, D. Rooney, J. Fitzpatrick, C. Cullinane, N. Clarke, K. Coyne, F. Kearns, T. Nolan, K. Holian, P. Hardiman, P. Reidy.

Check out – Athenry Football Club Website

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About this record

Written by Peter Gillhooley and Paddy Forde

Published here 13 May 2024 and originally published 1981

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