ENFIELD CELTIC F C – THE HISTORY
Back in 1989 at a time when Ireland was coming out of another recession. In the little village of Enfield Soccer was still a foreign sport. This was all to change on Thursday 9th February in 1989in the Midland Bar where a group of friends out for their regular social drink discussed the idea of forming a soccer club in Enfield. (Most of the lads were involved in other local clubs such as Moy Blues in Summerhill at the time). Those present included SeanGeraghty, Ray Geraghty, Padraig Yallop, Paddy Sheridan, Ciaran Daly, JJ Lynam, James McNally and Gerry Geraghty .
Sean Geraghty agreed to let the club use his land at the back of his house. It was used for grazing cattle and originally named “Cow Pat Lane”. Goals had to be acquired so Gerry Geraghty and Joe Sheridan went upto Moy Forest and managed to get a couple of felled trees and made them up together with Gerry Doran who supplied the steel joints to hold them together.
Sean was appointed Chairman and Ciaran PRO. Word was put out, training commenced and by the time the 1989/90 season began in August, 64 players were registered for 2 teams. Paddy Keogh was then asked to become 1st team Manager but agreed to take the 2nds when Padraig Yallop came on board.
The Bridge Bar came on board and along with Ray Geraghty fitted out the teams with new gear. The original colours of the club were orange for the 1st team, chosen to match Holland who had won the Euros so convincingly in 1988 and Celtic gear for the 2nds. Summerhill Celtic provided the opposition in the Clubs 1st official game and this game finished 3-3.
A funny moment in one of the early games involved Goalkeeper Eddie Daly who was booked just before kick off when he acknowledged the refs call to start the game by raising his hand with his still smoking cigarette. The ref ran 50 yds from the centre circle and booked him for smoking. How times change.
Amongst the main supporters of the Club in its formative years were Mary and Joe Norris who never missed a game whilst supporting their 2 sons Bernard and Brendan. The Bridge bar supplied weekly soup and sambos for the teams and Charlie Flattery was another big sponsor for a good few years.
The Club found it hard for the first few seasons but made a go of it. John Kenna took over the 1st team in 1993 for a season when Padraig stepped down then in 1994 Paddy took over the 1sts and Dermot Brady and Ray Geraghty took the 2nds.
New players began to arrive and under Paddy’s guidance the Club began to achieve some success reaching a 1st Cup Final in 1997 losing out 2-0 to TorroUtd in the O’Neill Shield. The following season proved a breakthrough as the Gerry Reilly Cup was secured with a hard fought 1-0 extra time win over Townspark Rangers. Jason Hendrick providing the matchwinner. A night of celebration ensued in Boggan’s Bar. 1998/99 saw the Club achieve its 1st promotion finishing Runners up in Division 4A of the MDL. Paul Hanley secured the Divisional player of the year award aswell as he formed a lethal goalscoring partnership with Ollie Lewis which contributed over 60 goals to the teams total. This partnership continued to flourish when the following season under the Captaincy of Paul Doran the Club won Division 3 losing only 3 times over the whole season.
A mid table finish in Division 2 in 2000/2001 was a more then respectable outcome for the Club. Paddy Keogh announced his retirement as manager for the following season after 12 years of commitment to the club. He remained to lend a hand to all those who followed him. His hard work, commitment and enthusiasm rubbed off on all those who played under him and knew him. He was a great loss to the club and the whole community when he sadly passed away last year.
The next couple of years proved to be a difficult time for the Senior section of the Club as many players either retired or left the club and the 1st team suffered consecutive demotions to end up back in Division 4.
New methods of Coaching and new management from the likes of Mike Bryan and Ben Higson and the emergence of new talent coming through from the Underage set up began to bear fruit.
At the start of the 2007/08 season overall membership of the club surpassed 200 players for the 1st time but this led to other problems as our 1 pitch was under severe pressure to cater for all our teams and despite years of lobbying there was no end in sight to our quest for more land.
Our Senior team finally re-established themselves on the map by securing Promotion from Division 4 in 2007/08 under Ben Higson(finishing a respectable 4th In Division 3 the following year) and this coupled with our Under 17s winning their NECSL league should have propelled the club forward but once again progress stalled as internal club matters caused a rift within the club leading to the set up of a rival local team with players leaving.
Ben resigned his position at the end of 2009 after successfully implementing an excellent coaching strategy and proving to be a winning manager.
The 1st team finished bottom of Division 3 the following year(A good run in the Leinster Junior Shield proving some consolation) but were offered a reprieve by the league for the 2011/12 season when under the guidance of Chris Hunt a largely youthful side based on many of the clubs former underage players such as David Morgan, Ronan Ryan, Ger Ryan, Conor Geraghty, Sean Coyle, Nicky Foster, Dalton McDonough, Eoin Gorry and Dean Brennanwith a sprinkling of older players played some exceptional football in securing promotion upto Division 2 in a last day league decider beating rivals Boca 1-0 who needed only a draw on the day to go up. Ritchie Mullen was the goalscoring hero on the day. A run of 11 wins from the 1st 12 games proving to be a massive platform. Runners up in the O’Neil Sheildand Quarter Finalists in the Leinster Junior Sheild proved a successful season. The 2nds also under Chris just missed out on promotion finishing 3rd.
Chris could not commit to another season and with no manager being found the Club had no Senior teams for the following season.
Cliff Thompson and Bren O’Callaghan took over for 2013/14 back in Division 3 but found it hard to get full commitment resigning halfway through the season. Mark Morgan and Rod Clancy came in to steady the ship till the end of the season.
2014/15 proved to be the start of the most successful period of the Clubs History as local lad and ex League of Ireland player Barry Clancy came in to manage the 1st team and Dave Byrne the 2nds.
The 1st team once again mixed youth with experience and with a couple of new additions to the old squad won Division 3 and Division 2 in consecutive seasons along with cup doubles each time. Then last season 2015/16 under the managership of Brendan Corri missed out on a play off place for promotion to the Premier Division despite having a vastly better goal difference than their nearest rivals a new system of head to head results decided their fate. 1st team player Thomas Wynne was honoured by being awarded the Leagues Division 1 Player of the year for 2016/17.
The 2nd team also managed to achieve successive promotions in 2014/15 and 2015/16.
As the 2017/18 gets underway the Senior section of the Club seems to be in good shape with quality Management and Coaches looking after an extremely gifted set of players. Brendan will continue as 1st team Manager ably assisted by Paul O’Connor and Dave Byrne will continue with the 2nds. The Holy Grail of Premiership membership could be only a season away, add this to the opening of our new facilities which will host 2 quality pitches and an excellent Clubhouse and at last after a lot of hard work behind the scenes and 28 years of trying the future looks bright.
ENFIELD CELTIC UNDERAGE SECTION
The early days of the underage section revolved around 1 team which was formed around 1992. It was managed by Gary Dempsey playing from under 11s through to under 15s in Dublin. Amongst the players who played were Shane Barrett(who went onto Home Farm then Wolves),Ollie Lewis and Brian O’Connell. The team reached the last 8 of the National cup and were semi Finalists in a Mini World Cup Tournament in Wales, only losing out 3-2 to a team that contained 7 international players.
After a couple of years without a team 1999 saw the formation of the Clubs schoolboy/girl section. Once again 1 team at under 11 level competed, this time in the NECSL. Amongst the players on that team were Gerard and Ronan Ryan, Dean Hendrick, Nigel Mooney, Dalton McDonough,Shane Geraghty, Liam Foran(who won League player of the month in November 89),Donogh O’Malley,Joey and Darragh Dolan. The lads ages ranged from 8 to 11.
New players arrived and the age range of teams expanded.
2001/02 saw the club field 3 teams, at under9 level where we had 4 6year olds included, DylanMcDonogh and Darren Ryan(both of whom still represent the club at senior level today). Niamh Geraghty and Sophie Hunt(who went onto represent the NECSL at the Gaynor Cup under 15 level many years later). This team finished off their season by reaching the Shield Final before losing unluckily to Athboy Celtic.
Our under 10s lost only once in a victorious winning league campaign. Amongst the players in coach Paul Silkes team were current senior players David Morgan, Conor Geraghty and Patrick Haslam.
Our under 12s squad contained 16 players(10 of whom were still under 11s) and continued to make progress. 2 of our players gained representative honours with the NECSL, Nicky Foster(another current senior player) and Marcus Bailey. The team finished the season as Cup Runners up.
A major highlight this year was the success of our 5 a side team who competed in a National Competition finishing 3rd and only missing out on a trip to Brazil by 1 goal. Ronan Ryan, Gerard Ryan, Cian Mannion, Eoin Gorry, Nicky Foster, Dalton McDonagh represented the club magnificently.
By 2003/04 the club were fielding 6 teams in the NECSL. 2 Under 9s, 1 under10s, 2 under 11s and 1 under 13s. Coaches this year included Chris and Adrienne Hunt, Ben Higson and Gavin James.
Our under 11s Rothweillers won their league losing only 2 games all season, won the cup and were runners up in the shield. Dean Brennan(now a leading player with the Senior team) and Ryan Keenan both scored over 20goals. Sean Sheridan was immence in midfield. Keith Jordan(who also gained representative honours with the NECSL in the Kennedy cup) produced some stunning performances in goal whilst in front of him Conor Geraghty, Adam Hunt and Eoin Lynch stood firm in defence keeping 11 clean sheets in 20 league games and only conceding 13 goals.
Our under 11 Terriors contained Conor Downey who had a fine season and was ably assisted by Sean Coyle(another current senior player), Devon Marques and Wayne Power. They finished off their league campaign with an impressive 1-0 victory over the Rothweillers.
At the end of the season the club took 3 teams on a weekend trip down to cork and our 10s, 11s and 13s acquitted themselves well in games against Springfield F.C and Cork Corinthians
2004/05 saw the Club field 7 teams in the NECSL and playing numbers rose to over 100 for the 1st time. Highlight of the season had to be the clubs participation at the Solar World Cup in Liverpool where our Under 12 team won the Sheild Competition after overcoming strong English opposition in the semi final they beat Longford side Camolin 5-3 in the Final. Dean Brennan was the goalscoring hero with 4 goals and Conor Downeys performance was acknowledged when the organisers awarded him the man of the match award.
2005/06 also saw the club participate in the Solar world Cup and the now under 13s made it to the Cup final this season after wins over Palmerstown Rangers, Lusk and tough Liverpool side Athletico whom they beat 4-1 after superb performances from Keith Jordan and stand in goalkeeper Adam Hunt. The final proved a bridge too far and the lads without the injured Conor Geraghty lost 6-2 but once again 2nd place was a great achievement. Well done to both teams for representing Club, town , county and Country so well with their exemplary behaviour both on and off the field.
On Finals day in the MDL our under 10s were victorious beating Athboy on penalties after an exciting 1-1 draw in which Sophie Hunt, Mark O’Sullivan(defence), Eric Boylan(goalkeeper) and Niamh Geraghty(forward) were excellent.
Our under 12s won the Athboy 7s Shield this season aswell as enjoying their experience at the Solar World Cup. Major players for them this season were inspirational Captain David Coffey, Richie Massey, Dylan Flynn, Michael Farley and Conor Clarke.
Our 13s had a mixed season, once again enjoying their Liverpool experience. Keith Jordan had a tremendous season as did Dean Brennan who finished top scorer for the 3rd season in a row with almost 30 goals.
Our Under 15s were rewarded for 4years of hard work when under the guidance of coach Ben Higson they won division 2 of the NECSL, losing only once for the whole campaign. 4 of the teams players represented the league. John O’Lone, James Towell, Shane Farrell and Dean Hendrick.
2006/07 provided more silverware for the club as our under 12s won Division 2 of the NECSL and our under 16s were magnificent winning a pulsating Shield Final against an unbeaten Kells side who had an Irish international centre forward in their ranks. The team ended their era in the junior ranks with a stunning 2-0 victory against a fine team. Dean Brennan was man of the match but every player gave his all for a team that spent almost 7 years together.
Despite the lack of facilities the Club continued to grow and by 2007/08 we had over 150 young players in the underage section with teams ranging from under 8s to under 17s.
Success this year came in the form of our under 17s under the guidance of Shane Jordan who won their League and were runners up in the Shield with a mixture of last seasons successful 16s squad, Dean Brennan, Adam Hunt, Conor Geraghty, Keith Jordan and Bens old squad such as Stephen Lynch, Willie Kelly, AntoMcDonald,Mick Collins, Shane Farrell, John O’Lone and Dean Hendricks.
Our under 12s won an exciting shield Final by 4-3 coming from 2-0 down inside 10 minutes against Johnstown . Paul Kennedy was the matchwinner as on a number of occasions during the season but Joshua Devine was awarded man of the match after an outstanding performance.
This season saw the formation of our 1st girls team at under 14 level who participated in the DWSL(Dublin womens soccer League). The team performed really well finishing mid table in the league then having an amazing run in the Cup losing 3-2 in the final against a strong St. Josephs team. Amongst the players that did so well were Sophie Hunt and Chloe Silke who went on to represent the NECSL in the Gaynor Cup and Niamh Geraghty.
2008/09 was the Clubs 1st venture into under 19 youth football as we entered a team in thDublins AFL . The team was managed by Chris Hunt and had a very successful season finishing League Runners up and becoming the 1st ever under 19 side to reach a Senior Cup Final “Loftus Cup” after a tremendous run. A 2-0 defeat to Hartstown was the result but the season was a good grounding for many of our lads who would go onto represent the senior side.
Peter Burke took up the reins for the next few years as Schoolboy Secretary from Chris Hunt and did an excellent job before passing the mantle onto Paul Campion.
Schoolboy Roll of Honours 2008 – 2016
- U16s Shield Winners
- Stuart Lumb and Paul Kennedy on the U13 NECSL representative squad at the Kennedy Cup.
- U9s – Athboy Super 7s Cup Winners
- Andrew Glynn on the U13 NECSL representative squad at the Kennedy Cup.
- U15s – League Winners
- U13s – NECSL Division 1 Winners
- David Burke & Daniel Ferguson on the NECSL U12 Emerging Talent Squad
- Luke McNally & Connor Heffernan on the U14 NECSL representative squad at the Kennedy Cup.
- U12s – NECSL Cup Winners
- Cormac Rafferty, Ryan Comeau & Lewis McKeon on the NECSL U12 Emerging Talent Squad.
- David Burke on the NECSL U13 Emerging Talent & Galway Cup Squad
- Alan Flynn and Kristian Crawford on theNECSL U14 Emerging Talent Squad. Alan also on the NECSL Kennedy Cup Squad.
- Luke McNally, Connor Heffernan, Sean Rafferty &OjeOifah on the U15 NECSL Emerging Talent Squad. Luke, Connor &Sean on the NECSL Foyle Cup winning team.
- Cormac Rafferty & Ryan Comeau on the NECSL U13 Emerging Talent & Galway Cup Squad
- David Burke & Thomas McLaughlin on the NECSL U14 Emerging Talent & Kennedy Cup Squad
- U16s – NECSL Double Premier League & Cup Winners
- Cormac Rafferty, Ryan Comeau &Shane Flynn on the NECSL U14 Emerging Talent & Kennedy Cup Squad.
- David Burke, Thomas McLaughlin, Daniel Ferguson & Danny Carolan on the NECSL U15 Emerging Talent & Galway Cup Squad
- Luke McNally ex club player part of the Ireland U19 squad
The club secured a 4 acre site in Enfield which we now call home. Over recent years Approx. €300k has been spent in developing this site to include building of a boundary wall, extensive drainage, levelling, seeding and developing of the pitch area and the construction of our new clubhouse. This has been possible with the support of Meath County Council, Sports and Capital Grant Allocation in 2015, FAI, Enfield Credit Union, local business and families and our local community coupled with hard work from our various committees over the years for which we are very grateful.
BEHIND THE SCENES
As with any Club those behind the scenes that help run the Club are often forgotten. However only for the hard work and dedication of these people there would be No Club. Therefore I would like to mention as many people as possible who have had a positive impact on Enfield Celtic F.C. If I miss anyone out please let me know. I will try to go back in time to the very start although my Knowledge of managers/coaches in the underage section from 2009 onwards is patchy.
Wonderwoman and Chairperson supreme without whom what we have achieved as a club today would not have been possible.
The man of the Club who gave many years of service to the Club as Manager, Chairperson, Treasurer and Fundraiser and always with a smile. You will be missed R.I.P.
Fundraising officer for almost 10years helped in the push to raise the finances to get our playing facilities up and running
Alongside Adrienne formed a strong fundraisingteam and in the early years was the Clubs own Launderette. R.I.P
Assistant Manager to Paddy in the dynamic duo for many years and a great clubman who would do anything to help.
Manager ,Chairperson, Player. Allrounder.
Player ,secretary and a brilliant Clubman who helped at every stage in the Clubs development
A great Coach at Underage and Senior level and Chairman of the Club before returning to his home in England.
Chairman for a number of years
Schoolboy Secretary for 6years
Treasurer for a number of years
Player, Coach, schoolboy secretary for 10 years, Club Secretary.
THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT
The Club has had upwards of 50 coaches over the years. Some of these gave a years service others 10 or more. All of them have played a part in the development of the Club at Underage and Senior Level over the last 28 years and allowed over 1000 young players pass through our ranks to date.
As the next Generation push through we salute those who helped to make the Club what it is today and look forward with enthusiasm to a bright future in our new playing facilities for all the children and Adults of Enfield and beyond.
Many of our players now go all the way from Under 10 to Senior Level and continue to enjoy to play and develop playing skills, social skills and lasting friendships along the way.
We as a Club hope that all our players have and will have a positive experience with Enfield Celtic and be able to look back in years to come with fond and cherished memories.