South County Dublin-based Cabinteely FC is based in the Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council managed Kilbogget Park. In season 2010/11, the club is catering for over 870 active members and is fielding 55 eager teams each weekend. The majority of our current teams range in age from U-7 to U-18 and play in the Dublin & District Schoolboys League (DDSL) and the EBS South Dublin Football League (SDFL). In addition, the club fields a number of girls teams and a very successful senior ladies team in the Dublin Womens Soccer League (DWSL). Our Special Olympics ‘Cougars’ squad also play in monthly blitzes during the season.
The current club was formed in 1967, as Auburn FC, and began league football with only one team. Little did those early enthusiasts know what they had initiated! In 1973, the club’s name was changed to Cabinteely Boys FC, to better represent the entire neighbourhood. At this time, it had only six teams – all boys. The name was changed to Cabinteely FC during the early ‘noughties’, to reflect both the numbers of individual girl members and its excellent girls and ladies teams.
In addition to the league teams, Cabinteely runs an inspirational and extremely successful Cubs, Kittens and Cougars ‘School of Excellence’ every Saturday morning during the season. This, under the experienced and composed guidance of the club’s wise Director of Football, Pat Finnerty (who is also goalkeeping coach with Bray Wanderers), introduces all local aspirant footballers (ages five to eight) – and their parents – to the techniques, discipline and practices of the game. Up to 150 young children attend the session every Saturday and the flourishing school produces up to six league-ready teams at U-8 level each year.
Pat says “it warms my heart to see the genuine enthusiasm and commitment of the young boys and girls up bright and early each Saturday morning as they seek to emulate their heroes and go on to represent their club and even for some of them, their country, in time”.
Some ‘Old Boys’
Internationals among former Cabinteely players include the late Peter Farrell (pre-Cabinteely FC) and, right up to date, Andrew Keogh and Alan O’Brien. Andrew is now making a name for himself at Mick McCarthy’s Wolves (on loan to Bristol City for 2011), following on from his January 2007 transfer from Scunthorpe United. Remember his January 2006 FA Cup third round goal v Manchester City on BBC’s Match of the Day? It was an exact replica of many of his Cabinteely goals since he began starring for the club’s U-8s. Andrew was first called to the senior international squad for the February 2007 game in San Marino.
Alan is now with Scotland’s Hibernian, after making his senior debut with England’s Newcastle United as a substitute against Fulham during season 2005/6. Alan has since made his full international debut as a substitute against the Netherlands in August 2006.
The football club works closely with Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, its neighbouring clubs – Seapoint RFC and Foxrock/Cabinteely GAA – and all local residents’ associations in the development of the expansive linear Kilbogget Park. All interested parties are members of the Kilbogget Park Project (KPP), an organisation that helps to co-ordinate and support all sporting and general park development. While the park’s landscaping, car-park and pathways have recently been upgraded, sporting projects completed include the provision of two all-weather pitches (winter 2010/11) and enhancements to the general floodlit grass training area (2008) and running track (2010).
Former Club Chairman, Pearse Toale, remarked “I am delighted with the support of the council in the on-going effort to improve the facilities for the players. We expect that our excellent relationships and co-operation with the other sports clubs in Kilbogget Park and with the local community will continue to the benefit of all park users”.