AVONDALE FC: Cork... Synopsis of Club History
Michael Casey trawls over clubs proud history
On October 12th 1972 the inaugural meeting to establish Avondale United took place in the kitchen of Sycamore Hose, Ballintemple, the home of the Barrett family. The stage was being set for the future of one of the most progressive clubs in Cork football for a long time.The fact that they had played several games before electing an organising committee adds weight to the saying "that Avondale United ran before they learned to walk".
The first meeting of the club elected Chairman, Mr. Joe Barrett; Hon. Sec. Mr. Pat McCarthy; Hon. Treasurer, Mr. Brendan Barrett.
Committee; Mr. Tom Mullane; Mr. Brendan McCarhy; Mr. Ger Roche; Mr. Max Trevor; Mr. Jim O’Regan and Mr. Paddy O’Donoughue.
During the maiden season the ‘Dale’ played in the second division of the Cork A.U.L. and the very first official game was in the Saxone Cup against Fermoy in the latters home ground and Avondale lost 5-2. The team that represented Avondale United on that historic day and who laid the foundation for such a glorious future were as follows:
Timmy Murphy; Tom Mullane; Brendan McCarthy; Pat McCarthy; Seán Collins; Martin Barrett; Eamon O’Donoughue; Andy Creagh; Jim O’Regan; Jer Roche; Willie Lewis;12th man: Séamus Kelly
Jim O’Regan wrote for himself a place in the clubs history when he became the first ever player to score for Avondale United. Incidentally Pat McCarthy supplied the ‘Dales’ other goal.
The Early Years for the 'Dale'
Avondale United was formed in Ballintemple, Cork in the summer of 1972 with one junior team. The club originally catered for players from the Ballintemple/Beaumont and Church Road/Skehard Road areas, of what was then mainly the city end of the old Blackrock parish. Much of the club's support and particularly underage membership, still comes from these localities, but players from surrounding areas have always been made welcome.
Avondale originally joined the Cork Athletic Union League and were members of that league up to 1989. Youth and schoolboys sides have been fielded since 1973/74 and 1974/75 respectively. In 1977/78 Avondale also joined the Munster Senior league following a very successful junior season in 1976/77. Early meetings of the club were held in the kitchen of Sycamore House in Ballintemple, where the very first founding meeting was also held but soon moved to a spare room at the back of a local hostelry.
Sycamore House gave inspiration to the sycamore leaf as the main feature of the club crest. The first colours were red and white. However some time later the colours were changed to the now familiar sky blue with black/navy shorts.
Up until 1986 all home games were played on privately rented or public pitches, but also in that year the club purchased grounds, now known as Avondale Park, Carrigaline. A short time before this, the use of a community ground, now Beaumont Park, was granted to the club by the Blackrock Community Association and it now holds a 99-year lease on this venue. This ground is now the club's schoolboy headquarters. In recent years the use of another private ground at Bessboro Cross, Blackrock, has also been made available to the club. The adult and youth teams are based at Avondale Park, Carrigaline.
Avondale published a book marking its 21st anniversary in 1993 and the 40th anniversary was celebrated in 2012. The club has won honours in all grades of local football at Intermediate, Junior, Youth and Schoolboy levels. The first honours came to the club in 1976/77 when both the youths and junior sides were victorious in their respective League Cup competitions. The most notable honours have come nationally through wins on seven occasions in the FAI Intermediate Cup. Avondale lead the roll of honour for victories in this prestigious competition.
Avondale United reached the quarter-finals of the FAI Senior Cup in 1995 and 2014 as well as the semi-finals of the FAI Under-17 Cup in 2015. The club has reached the Munster Senior Cup Final three times. Outright honours eluded Avondale each time, losing to Cork City (2005), Waterford United (2013) and Limerick FC (2015). Many of the club's players have won representative honours at local and international level in all grades.
Avondale United FC achieved honours in all grades of Cork football including schoolboys, youths, junior, senior and also over 35's level. The greatest honour achieved by the club came when it won the FAI Intermediate Cup on seven separate occasions, including an unprecedented 4 in a row triumphs from 2011 to 2014 (1978, 2006, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014).
As well as the regular underage grades, the Schoolboys Section also caters for young boys/girls between the ages of 6 and 10 years by providing coaching at two local schools every Friday night.
All Under One Roof:
A primary club objective is to relocate the entire operation at one base in Blackrock. In the meantime a major redevelopment of the Beaumont Park ground is under way.
Notable Sporting Personalities:
Some well-known sporting personalities have played with Avondale over the years, including All- Ireland-winning Cork 1986 hurling captain and Cork manager, Tom Cashman, Irish hockey international Alan O'Driscoll, Irish rugby international Simon Zebo, and international soccer referee, Alan Kelly.
Avondale United FC has a playing membership of approximately 300 people and games are played in the Cork Schoolboys League, The Cork City & County Youths League and The Munster Senior League.The club is also affiliated to The Munster Football Association, The Schoolboys Football Association of Ireland and The Football Association of Ireland
Summary of Avondale United Roll Of Honour:
FAI Intermediate Cup Winners:
1978, 2006, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014.
Munster Senior League Premier Division Winners:
1988, 1993, 1996, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014*, 2016.
Munster Senior League Division 1 Winners: 2003.
Beamish Cup Winners: 1995, 2013, 2015
Donie Forde Cup Winners: 2006, 2008, 2013, 2014, 2015
Keane Cup Winners: 1984, 1987, 2004,2013
O'Connell Cup Winners: 1994, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2015
Pop Keller Cup Winners: 1979, 1984.
Tom Hand Cup Winners: 2013
Munster Senior League Junior Premier Division Winners:
1991, 1994, 1997, 2007.
Munster Senior League Junior 1st Division Winners: 2015.
Carling Super Cup Winners: 1997.
Beamish Super Cup Winners: 2008
John Hayes Cup Winners: 2014
Carling League Cup Winners: 1997
Cork Area FAI Junior Cup Winners: 1977.
AUL Division 1 "A" Winners: 1988.
AUL Division 3 "B" Winners: 1982.
Mall Tavern League Cup Winners: 1977.
Saxone Cup Winners: 1985, 1987, 1988.
Over 35 team:
League Winners: 1992.
Cork Youth Leagues U19 Premier Division: 2017.
Coca Cola Youth Cup Winners: 1977.
AUL Division 2 Winners: 1988.
Cork Area Barry Cup (Under 16) Winners: 1987.
Under 16 Division 3 League Winners: 2011.
Under 15 Division 1 League Winners: 2011, 2014.
Under 15 Division 1 League Winners: 2004.
Under 14 League Division 1 Winners: 2007.
Under 13 Division 1 League Winners: 2002.
Under 12 League Division 1 Winners: 1990.
Under 11 Cup Winners: 1990.
Republic Of Ireland Amateur:
Dave O'Keeffe, Mark O'Sullivan, David Spratt, Michael Kiernan, Andrew Knowles, Brendan O'Connell, Robert O'Mahony, Danny Long, Brian Murphy, Daniel O Leary, Mark Horgan, Kenny Murphy, Dave Kiely, Andrew Gannon and Hugh O'Donovan
Irish Defence Forces: Mark Horgan.
Republic Of Ireland Under 18: Conor O'Driscoll.
Republic Of Ireland Under 16: Eoghan O'Connell.
Republic Of Ireland Under 15: Fiachra Kelleher.
Republic Of Ireland Under 14 and Secondary Schools: Mark O'Riordan.
Senior Team of the Year (MSL): 2006, 2009, 2012.
Junior Team of the Year (MSL): 2015.
Manager of Year: 1988 (Cork AUL) Liam Treacy.
Player of Year: 2012, 2016 (MSL) Mark Horgan.
Player of Year: 2014 (MSL) Danny Long.
Cork Schoolboy Of The Year (Overall): 1995 Mark O'Riordan.
Cork Schoolboys League Player of The Year (Under 13):
2005 David O'Leary.
Cork Schoolboys League Player of the Year (Under 13):
2010 Fiachra Kelleher