League of Ireland Premier Division
The division was formed in 1985 following a reorganisation of the League of Ireland. St. Patricks Athletic and Bohemians are the only current League of Ireland clubs never to have been relegated from the Premier Division, since 2003 the Premier Division has operated as a summer league. The inaugural members of the Premier Division included the League of Irelands traditional top four clubs – Shamrock Rovers, Shelbourne, Bohemians, Shamrock Rovers were the inaugural champions and then retained the title in 1986–87. This saw Rovers complete a four in a row of league titles, Dundalk were champions in 1987–88 and Derry City achieved a treble in 1988–89 by also winning the League of Ireland Cup and the FAI Cup. The 1990s saw the re-emergence of St Patricks Athletic following years of obscurity, during the decade St Pats won four titles. Brian Kerr guided the club to success in 1989–90 and 1995–96 before Pat Dolan and Liam Buckley added further titles in 1997–98, the 1992–93 season saw Cork City win their first title in dramatic circumstances after a series of three-way play-offs that also involved Bohemians and Shelbourne. The turn of the century saw Shelbourne win the first of five titles in seven years, dermot Keely guided Shelbourne to the title in 1999–2000 and 2001–02. Shelbourne won the title in controversial circumstances in 2001–02 and they were only declared champions after St Patricks Athletic were deducted 15 points for fielding Charles Livingstone Mbabazi while he was ineligible. The league decided to become a league in 2003. Pat Fenlon added further titles in 2003,2004 and 2006, Fenlon had also been a prominent member of the Shelbourne playing squads in 1999–2000 and 2001–02. As a manager Fenlon would also guide Bohemians to title successes in 2008 and 2009, Cork City denied Shelbourne a third league title in a row when they claimed their second title in 2005, defeating fellow challengers Derry City in a last game decider at Turners Cross. During the second half of the decade a number of Premier Division clubs suffered financial difficulties, during the 2005 season Shamrock Rovers entered into examinership and it was revealed that the club had debts of nearly €3 million. It was also discovered that Rovers were not playing PAYE and PRSI, as a result of these financial irregularities, Rovers were deducted eight points. This ultimately resulted in the club being relegated to the First Division after they lost the playoff to Dublin City. This was the first time Rovers senior team had dropped out of the top level of the Republic of Ireland football league system since the club had joined the League of Ireland in 1922–23. During the 2006 season the Revenue Commissioners took High Court action, Shelbourne also struggled to pay its players during the season. Despite winning the title Shelbourne were subsequently demoted to the First Division due to their financial difficulties, midway through the season Dublin City also went out of business and withdrew from the league, unable to complete the season. During the 2008 season both Cork City and Drogheda United were deducted ten points going into administration
St Patrick's Athletic F.C.
St Patricks Athletic F. C. is an Irish association football club based in Inchicore, Dublin, that plays in the Irish Premier Division. Founded in May 1929, they played originally in the Phoenix Park, St Patricks Athletic have won numerous trophies in Irish Club Football, including nine League Titles, the fifth most in Irish Football, as well as three FAI Cups and two League Cups. The current manager is Liam Buckley, who is in his spell in charge at the club after replacing Pete Mahon in 2011. The club graduated through the ranks of the Leinster Senior League and duly took their place in the League of Ireland in 1951, the clubs glory years came in the 1950s and 1990s when they won 7 of their 9 league titles. The club also have the record for never having been relegated from the Premier Division, the club play in red and white colours, and their nicknames include The Saints, Supersaints and Pats. The Saints also have a lot of Dublin Derby games with the likes of Shelbourne, Shamrock Rovers, during the late 1940s and 1950s St Pats played in the Leinster Senior League. During this period won the league title on six occasions. This included four successive titles between 1947–48 and 1950–51, in 1947–48 St Pats completed a treble after also winning both the FAI Intermediate Cup and Leinster Senior Cup. The 1948–49 season would see St Pats win a Leinster Senior League / FAI Intermediate Cup double, in 1950–51 a young Shay Gibbons helped St Pats win the Leinster Senior League title for a fourth time. After St Pats first team joined the League of Ireland in 1951–52, in 1951–52 the club was admitted, along with Cork side Evergreen United, to the League of Ireland. St Pats made an impact, winning the league championship at their first attempt. Two more league championship successes followed in 1954–55 and 1955–56, the club had to wait until 1959 before their first FAI Cup success, repeating the feat in 1961. and Willie Peyton are players who contributed greatly during this era. St Pats struggled throughout the late 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s with only the odd cup final or young star emerging to brighten things for long suffering Pats fans, among those players to emerge was Noel Campbell. Campbell spent a number of years with St Pats before moving to SC Fortuna Köln where he would play 8 seasons, perhaps the brightest star to play for St Pats was Paul McGrath. McGrath was signed by Saints manager Charlie Walker from junior side Dalkey United, within a year he had won the PFAI Player of the Year award and earned himself a move to Manchester United. The World cup Winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks also played one match for St Pats, the appointment of Brian Kerr as manager in 1986 was a major turning point in the fortunes of the club. Kerr worked on limited resources to create team capable of challenging the best, at the end of the 1988/89 season St Pats left Richmond Park for what the board of directors called a short time while redevelopment work was done. Playing in Harolds Cross, Kerrs blend of players and experienced campaigners disregarded by other clubs won the clubs first league championship in 34 years on Easter Monday 1990
Kilkenny City A.F.C.
Kilkenny City Association Football Club was an Irish football club. The club hails from Kilkenny and used Buckley Park as their home pitch, Buckley Park has hosted many International under age soccer games. Kilkenny City will be entering the under 20 division this season which run co-currently with the schoolboy season, in 1966 a group of Leaving Certificate students made the most of having a free class at the local Christian Brothers school. They debated the pros and cons, devised a plan and, finally, the club was originally known as EMFA, becoming Kilkenny City in 1989. Jim Rhatigan was appointed as the secretary a position he still holds. EM stood for Emmett Street and FA for Fatima Place where Jim Rhatigan grew up, initially EMFA competed in the U18 Kilkenny and District Youth League under the management of Donie Butler. Donie Butler served as Commercial Manager of the FAI during the Jack Charlton years, the club was unable to afford a new set of jerseys and so agreed to play in an all white strip. The logic being that all the players had at least one white t-shirt or shirt they could wear, the clubs colours changed to claret and blue before changing again to black and amber, coinciding with the renaming of the club. EMFA graduated from junior football in 1971–72 season, Jim Rhatigan became their manager and the club remained in junior football until 1984. During this period the club purchased 5.7 acres of land from a farmer by the name of Mick Murphy, owner of the adjacent Tennypark House. They had previously played their games at the Freshford Road grounds. The ground was originally called Tennypark and was later named Buckley Park in honour of Marty Buckley, a bid of One million was made for the clubs grounds in the late eighties but was rejected in the favour of football. In 1984 the club won the Junior league and cup remaining undefeated throughout the entire season and it was decided that he club should apply for admission to the then League of Ireland. In their maiden season Kilkenny City then known as EMFA, finished tenth in the First Division and their first League of Ireland game was played on 8 October 1985 at home to Derry City and ended in a 1–1 draw. EMFA won their first honour in 1987, winning the League of Ireland First Division Shield defeating Finn Harps 4–2 in Oriel Park, the club changed its name to Kilkenny City in 1989. In 1991 under Joe McGrath they reached the FAI Cup semi-final before suffering defeat to Shamrock Rovers, in the 1996–97 season Kilkenny City won the First Division title with 11 points to spare over their nearest rivals Drogheda United thus gaining promotion to the Premier Division. Their stay in the premier was short however as they finished in eleventh the following season and were relegated back to the First Division, in the 1999–00 season Kilkenny city finished third and beat Waterford United in a promotion-relegation playoff returning to the Premier. However, Kilkenny city were unable to extend their stay in the top flight beyond a single season managing only a league victory throughout the whole season
Drogheda United F.C.
Drogheda United Football Club is an Irish association football club based in Drogheda, County Louth. The club are members of the League of Ireland First Division and they play their home matches at United Park. The current club is the amalgamation of two clubs in the town, Drogheda United, a non-league club founded in 1919. In their first season there they finished tenth and also in each of the three seasons finished in the bottom three. In the 1967–68 season they achieved a respectable fifth-place finish and the season finished in sixth place. They did, however, get to FAI Cup final that season where they were beaten 3–0 by Limerick, for the next three seasons, quite the opposite at what had happened before, they finished in third place. During these seasons Drogheda United also achieved two club records - their biggest league victory and Cathal Muckian scoring 21 league goals in a season and they did win their first ever trophy during these seasons also, the League of Ireland Cup in the 1983–84 season. They remained in the First Division until the 1988–89 season when they went up as First Division Champions and their joy was short-lived, however, as the following season they were relegated although this time they achieved promotion at the first time of asking. In the next two seasons Drogheda battled bravely against relegation surviving by one point and on goal difference in the respective seasons, however, they were relegated for the third time in the 1993–94 season. Paul Doolin took over and upped the standard of training and fitness levels, however, he found that to compete with the big clubs like Bohemians and Shelbourne he would need a professional squad. In 2004, he made the fully professional and gave part-time players the option to turn professional or leave the club. The change to full-time saw the clubs fortunes drastically improve and they won their first FAI Cup in 2005, beating Cork City in the final and won back-to-back Setanta Cups in 2006 and 2007. They also qualified for the UEFA Cup for the 2006–07 season thanks to their 2005 FAI Cup success and they were also in the UEFA Cup Qualifying stages for the 2007–08 campaign, losing to Helsingborgs IF in the second round. United finally won the League Of Ireland for the first time in 2007, guy Bates scored the winning goal for Drogheda that day, shooting himself into Drogs folklore. Drogheda were dominant in the league, only losing three games and winning the title by seven points, the league win meant that Drogheda would be playing in the Champions League Qualifiers for the first time in their history in the 2008–09 season. They succeeded in their first qualifier against Levadia Tallinn, beating them 3–1 on aggregate and they played the Second Qualifying Round against Dynamo Kyiv which, they ended up losing 4–3 on aggregate. In the first a goal for Kiev secured a 2–1 victory at Dalymount Park. In the second game, an early Kiev goal after 13 minutes seemed to have finished the tie, Shane Robinson stepped up and slotted home the spot-kick
Shelbourne Football Club is an Irish association football club based in Drumcondra, Dublin, who play in the League of Ireland First Division. Shelbourne were founded in Dublin in 1895, in 1904 the club joined the Irish Football League, which was then an all Ireland competition, before becoming founding members of the League of Ireland in 1921. Shelbourne have won the league 13 times and are one of three clubs to have won both the IFA Cup and the FAI Cup and they play their home matches at Tolka Park, in the Dublin suburb of Drumcondra. The club colours are red and white, with home jerseys being predominantly red. Shels is the clubs most common nickname, an abbreviation of Shelbourne, in the 2004/2005 European season, Shelbourne became the first Irish club to reach the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League. Their performances in European competition and former striker Jason Byrne being capped for the Republic of Ireland whilst with the club, the club lost their Premier Division licence for the 2007 season due to the clubs debt situation. Since then, Shelbourne have mainly played in the tier of the League of Ireland. Shelbourne Football Club was formed in 1895 in the Ringsend area of Dublin by a group of men led by Mr. James Rowan, the club took its name from the nearby Shelbourne Road. The clubs first pitch was at Havelock Square just behind the stand at the present day Aviva Stadium. Shelbournes second season was their first in competitive competition, Shelbourne played 28 matches, won 25, drew 2 and lost only 1. Their goal tally was 109 for and 15 against, Shelbourne won the principal junior competitions, the Leinster Junior Cup and League Championship. The club decided to enter the ranks for the 1897–98 Season and reached the Leinster Senior Cup Final at their first attempt. They also finished runners-up in the Leinster Senior League, the club won their first Leinster Senior Cup in 1899/1900, Shelbourne won the competition again in 1901 and 1904. The club made it into the Final of the IFA Cup in 1905 but were beaten by Distillery, in 1906 Shelbourne player Val Harris became the clubs first player to line out for Ireland. Shelbourne reached the IFA Cup Final again in 1907 and 1908 but were beaten on both occasion in replays against Cliftonville and Bohemians, in 1907 Shelbourne were also Irish Football League runners-up to Linfield. They won the Leinster Senior Cup again in 1908 and 1909, in 1909 Shelbourne were City Cup winners and finished 3rd place in the Irish Football League, behind champions Linfield and Glentoran. In 1911 Shelbourne won the IFA Cup for their second time, Shelbourne won the Leinster Senior Cup again in 1913 and 1914. Shelbourne were 1914 Gold Cup runners-up, and then winners in 1915, Shelbourne were Leinster Senior Cup winners again in 1917 and 1919
Cork City F.C.
Cork City Football Club is an Irish association football club based in Cork. The club currently plays in the League of Ireland Premier Division, the club was founded and elected to the League of Ireland in 1984. It was one of the first clubs in Ireland to field a team of professional footballers, between 2008 and 2010 however, the club suffered financial and management issues and entered a period of examinership. While the clubs holding company was wound up by the courts, fans were awarded a licence under the name Cork City FORAS Co-op, the club subsequently re-acquired rights to the name Cork City Football Club, and were promoted back to the premier division for the 2012 season. Citys traditional colours are green and white with red trim, the club play home games at Turners Cross. The current club are not the first to use the name Cork City, during the 1920s teams referred to as Cork City competed in both the Munster Senior League and the Munster Senior Cup. A team named Cork City finished as Munster Senior Cup runners up in 1924–25, another Cork City F. C. also played in the League of Ireland between 1938 and 1940. Following the bankruptcy of Cork United in 1982, senior football returned to the city with the formation of a new Cork City FC in 1984, founded by officials from several Cork clubs, the new club was elected to the League of Ireland. Bobby Tambling was the first manager appointed to the club, the FAI Cup offered some respite, however Shamrock Rovers knocked City out in the semi-finals – in the last match played at the Lodge. In 1986 the club moved to a new home at Turners Cross, the following year, former Ireland striker Eamon OKeefe arrived as manager, delivering the Munster Senior Cup, and the League of Ireland Cup. By 1988, OMahony was re-installed as manager, and the side finished eighth in the league, while Torpedo Moscow knocked the club out of the 1989–90 European Cup Winners Cup, City earned a fifth-place finish in the Premier Division, and the Munster Senior Cup was reclaimed. The early 1990s saw lengthy unbeaten league runs, high league positions, retention of the Munster Senior Cup through four years, and a number of games in European competition. The most notable European game was a UEFA Cup tie with Bayern Munich,1993 saw Cork City land the League of Ireland Premier Division title for the first time, after a complicated three team play-off. OMahoney resigned and the moved to a new stadium in Bishopstown at the end of the season. Damien Richardson took the helm and the 1993/94 season began with City coming from three goals down to beat Welsh side Cwmbran Town in the UEFA Champions League, in the following round they suffered odd-goal defeats both home and away to Turkish side Galatasaray. City finished in position in the league that year. 1994/95 was a season for Cork City. Noel OMahony was re-appointed as manager but the title challenge collapsed, the club did have successes in the Munster Senior Cup and League of Ireland Cup that season however