St Ni­cholas make ju­nior league bow

Fe­bru­ary 1983

Drogheda Independent - - NEWS -

ON Sun­day next in Dun­leer his­tory will be made by a Drogheda club, Naomh Ni­cholas when they make their de­but in ju­nior foot­ball, play­ing Lannleire in the Ranafast Cup.

It will be a mo­men­tous day for a club, born only seven years ago out of a de­sire to pro­vide a sport­ing out­let for boys in the Balls­grove, St. Finian’s Park, Rathraullen, Cher­ry­mount, High­field and Hil­lview es­tates in Drogheda.

Rapid progress, mixed with a good deal of suc­cess at boys and youth level has led to the nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion to adult foot­ball, step­ping in at the low­est level Ju­nior II, with par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Ranafast Cup and later the Louth Ju­nior cham­pi­onship.

“Hope­fully we won’t stop there, said as­sis­tant sec­re­tary Fin­tan McCarthy, who with Christy “Kit” Cahill, club Pres­i­dent, were the guid­ing lights be­hind the club’s for­ma­tion. “We would like to think that we can grad­u­ate in the-ju­nior ranks to in­ter­me­di­ate, and then se­nior. This might sound am­bi­tious, but with the num­bers of boys and youths avail­able to the club in the area, there is no rea­son why we can’t go all the way.”

In ad­di­tion the club have been com­pet­ing at a county level at un­der 14 and mi­nor level, where they met with, great suc­cess win­ning county ti­tles at un­der-14 level in 1979, ‘80 and ‘82. Naomh Ni­cholas play­ers have also been se­lected on county teams and the club also rep­re­sented the county in a na­tional seven-a-side at Gor­manston in 1981, per­form­ing with a great deal of dis­tinc­tion.

“We know from the re­sponse that we have re­ceived from our play­ers,” said P.R.O. Jim McDon­nell, “that they are keen to see the club do well. They give us tremen­dous sup­port on the field and at train­ing ses­sions and carry the red and white of the club with pride.”

The club’s chair­man, Felix Hack­ett, who saw ser­vice him­self with Naomh Mhuire and St. Do­minic’s will dou­ble as team man­ager for the ju­nior side and al­read y he is get­ting them into trim for their big de­but on Sun­day.

A few play­ers who have al­ready tasted ju­nior foot­ball and who live in the area have joined Naomh Ni­cholas on trans­fer, and the ad­di­tion of the re­cruits to the ranks will bring Drogheda’s to­tal of se­nior clubs to six, New­town Blues in se­nior, Oliver Plun­ketts in in­ter­me­di­ate ranks, and O’Rahillys, Wolfe Tones and Naomh Mhuire join­ing Naomh Ni­cholas in ju­nior.

Presently the club have the use of a Cor­po­ra­tion pitch at Rath­mullen which they share with St. Oliver’s Col­lege and lo­cal pri­mary schools and are hope­ful of get­ting a per­ma­nent lease on the prop­erty from the Cor­po­ra­tion with a pro­posed meet­ing with of­fi­cials planned shortly to talk about the mat­ter.

Clu­b­rooms and dress­in­grooms have also been pro­vided, an in­di­ca­tion of the en­thu­si­asm in the club, with all the money for the work be­ing raised in the com­mun­mity. “We didn’t get a penny in grants,” said Fin­tan McCarthy, “rais­ing all the money our­selves through var­i­ous fund rais­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

‘We get great sup­port from par­ents, par­tic­u­larly the moth­ers, and we have a 200 club, as well as a church gate col­lec­tion planned for Fe­bru­ary 20th through­out Drogheda which we hope will be well sup­ported.

The de­sire to win and make Drogheda proud of the club isn’t the sole mo­ti­va­tion for the com­mit­tee. “We see our re­spon­si­bil­ity in pro­vid­ing a recre­ational and sport­ing out­let for the boys as even more im­por­tant. In this day and age it is the only so­lu­tion to the prob­lem that young boys face with all the temp­ta­tions that modern so­ci­ety pro­vides,” said Mr. McCarthy.

But for the present at least all eyes will be on Sun­day and the de­but of Naomh Ni­cholas in Dun­leer, when fin­gers crossed, they can get away to a good start.

Com­mit­tee mem­bers are chair­man, Felix Hack­ett; vice chair­man, Matt Bran­ningan; sec­re­tary, Gerry McKe­own; as­sis­tant sec­re­tary, Fin­tan, McCarthy; trea­surer, Jimmy Pentony and P.R.O. Jim McDon­nell.

Fr Iggy O’Dono­van with Hol­ly­wood ac­tor Colm O’Donoghue.

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