Athlone Town A.F.C.

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Athlone Town Association Football Club (Irish: Cumann Peile Bhaile Áth Luain) is an Irish football club from Athlone who are playing in the League of Ireland. The club is the oldest in the League as it was founded in 1887.[1] First elected to the League of Ireland in 1922, they play their home matches in Lissywollen their new stadium which opened in 2007. The club's colours are blue and black. Away kits vary from year to year although orange and black has been worn most recently.

Athlone Town
AthloneTown.png
Full nameAthlone Town Association Football Club.
Nickname(s)The Town
Founded1887
GroundAthlone Town Stadium, Lissywollen, Athlone
Capacity5,000 (2,500 seated)
ChairmanJohn Hayden
ManagerDermot Lennon
LeagueLeague of Ireland First Division
20217th
WebsiteClub website

HistoryEdit

Athlone first competed in the League of Ireland in the 1922–23 season finishing sixth. They were the first non-Dublin club in the Irish Free State to compete in the national Free State League. They competed in the league until 1928 and not again until the 1969–70 season.

Athlone Town won the FAI Cup, their first domestic success in 1924, beating Fordsons. Dinny Hannon scored the only goal of the game, as Athlone went through the whole competition without conceding a goal.

Hannon was one of five Athlone Town players chosen to represent the Irish Free State at the 1924 Paris Olympic Games. The other players were Tommy Muldoon, Frank Ghent, John Joe Dykes and Paddy O'Reilly.[2]

The club finished second in the league in the 1974–75 season earning a place in the UEFA Cup, the first time they had ever qualified for European competition. Their first-round game was against Norwegian side Vålerenga who they beat. Athlone's second round tie was against Italian side AC Milan drawing 0–0 in the first leg at St. Mel's Park setting a record attendance of 9,000 before losing the second leg at the San Siro 3–0.

Athlone won their first league title in the 1980–81 season. They played KB in Europe the following season earning a draw in the first leg in Denmark and again at St. Mel's Park going out on the away goal rule.

In the 1981–82 season Athlone Town won the League Cup for the second time beating Shamrock Rovers. However they failed to retain their league title that year finishing 4th. Athlone Town were again crowned league champions in the 1982–83 season and qualifying for Europe and also retained the League Cup beating Dundalk. Their opponents in Europe on this occasion were Belgian outfit Raymond Goethals managed Standard Liège, losing 3–2 at home and 8–2 in Liège.

In 1985 six new clubs were elected to the league increasing the leagues participation to 22. As a result, the current two division (Premier and First) structure was adapted with Athlone Town in Premier Division. In 1987 the club finished last and were relegated to the First Division. Their stay there was short, finishing top of First Division the following season, gaining promotion to the Premier Division. The club remained in the top flight until the 1991–92 season, when they finished eleventh and were subsequently relegated to the First Division.

Athlone Town again gained promotion to the Premier Division in the 1993–94 season, finishing runners-up to Sligo Rovers that season. The club were once again relegated in 1996, narrowly missing out on promotion in 2001 by one point to Monaghan United.

Since 2001 Athlone have finished each season in the bottom half of the first division. In that time eight different managers have been appointed. In 2007 the club moved from St Mel's Park to a new stadium, which was opened on 9 March when the home side hosted Kilkenny City in the opening game of the season.

On 15 December 2008, the club held an emergency E.G.M. with supporters stating that they were in financial difficulties. Part finance had been raised and the club were hopeful of raising the rest that they needed, but stated that difficult times may be ahead. The club however is very thankful for all the funds received through the patron scheme with over 350 loyal fans contributing.

On 27 September 2013, Athlone clinched the First Division title with a 1–0 win over Waterford United.

In September 2017 the FAI banned goalkeeper Igors Labuts and midfielder Dragos Sfrijan for 12 months after a UEFA investigation found "clear and overwhelming betting evidence" of fixing of Athlone's 29 April match against Longford Town in the 2017 League of Ireland First Division.[3] The Professional Footballers' Association of Ireland said the decision was based on "half-baked innuendo".[4]

In 2018, a dispute over ownership of Athlone Town Stadium arose between the club and local businessman Declan Molloy.[5][6] Youth teams; there are many youth team ranging from u13 boys to u17 womans team.

European recordEdit

OverviewEdit

Competition Matches W D L GF GA
European Cup
4
0
1
3
7
14
UEFA Cup
4
1
2
1
4
5
TOTAL
8
1
3
4
11
19

MatchesEdit

Season Competition Round Opponent Home Away Aggregate
1975–76 UEFA Cup 1R   Vålerengen 3–1 1–1 4–2
2R   Milan 0–0 0–3 0–3
1981–82 European Cup 1R   KB 2–2 1–1 3–3 (a)
1983–84 European Cup 1R   Standard Liège 2–3 2–8 4–11

HonoursEdit

Source:[7][8][9][10]

PlayersEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   IRL Jamie Quinn
2 DF   IRL Daniel Dobbin
3 DF   IRL Derek Daly
4 DF   NED Noah van Geenen
5 DF   IRL Andy Spain
6 MF   ENG Jackson Hulme
6 DF   MDA Eugen Slivca
7 MF   IRL Stephen Kenny
8 MF   NED Quincy Nkansah
10 FW   IRL Glen McAuley
11 FW   IRL Thomas Oluwa
12 MF   IRL Aaron Connolly
14 FW   IRL Success Edogun
No. Pos. Nation Player
16 GK   IRL Micheal Schlingermann
17 MF   IRL Sami Clarke
18 MF   IRL Oisín Duffy
19 DF   IRL Aaron McBride
20 DF   IRL Gary Armstrong
22 MF   NED Youri Habing
23 MF   IRL Donal Curtin
26 MF   IRL Cameron Mulready
27 DF   IRL Cian Kelly (on loan from St Patrick's Athletic)
30 GK   IRL Andrew Skerritt
31 MF   RSA Carlton Ubaezuonu
50 GK   IRL Sam Krebs

Coaching and Medical StaffEdit

Position Staff
Director of Football Dermot Lennon
Manager Dermot Lennon
Kitman Lee Bolger
Chairman John Hayden
Vice Chairman Martin Collins
Club Secretary David Dully
Club Finance Officer Joey Boland
Physio Melissa Flanagan

Former managersEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Lynch, Frank (1991). A History of Athlone Town F.C. – the first 101 years. Athlone. p. 1. The record books give 1892 as the year of our founding ... as it was in that year that the club became affiliated to the Leinster Football Association, with the object of competing in the newly inaugurated Leinster Junior Cup. However, for the real date of birth we must refer to our esteemed local paper the Westmeath Independent, which in its issue dated 8 January 1887 stated 'We are in a position to announce that O.R. Coote Esq., Larkfield is organising a club under Association rules and already a large number of young men of the town have become members...'
  2. ^ Carey, Tadhg (2009). When We Were Kings – The Story of Athlone Town's 1924 FAI Cup Triumph. Athlone: Tadhg Carey. p. 9. That five of the winning team – Paddy O'Reilly, Tommy Muldoon, John Joe Dykes, Denis Hannon and Frank Ghent – would make history as the first Olympians to compete for the new Irish Free State later that same year in Paris only added to the fairytale.'
  3. ^ "Athlone players suspended for match fixing to serve 12-month ban after appeal is thrown out". Independent.ie. 5 October 2018. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  4. ^ "Athlone players banned for 12 months by FAI". RTÉ.ie. 7 September 2017. Archived from the original on 8 September 2017. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  5. ^ Carolan, Mary (19 February 2018). "Athlone Town Football Club secretary seeks to remove Athlone Stadium Ltd as trustee on property". The Irish Times. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  6. ^ Managh, Ray (30 August 2017). "Athlone Town FC wins right to draw down Government grant". The Irish Times. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  7. ^ "FAI Umbro Youth Challenge Cup Previous Winners". www.fai.ie. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  8. ^ "FAI Junior Cup Winners". stadium.aviva.ie. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  9. ^ Mark Herbert, Donie Butler (1994–95). FAI Yearbook & Diary 1995. Dublin: Sportsworld Ltd.
  10. ^ Lynch, Frank (1991). A History of Athlone Town F.C: The First 101 Years. Athlone: Arcadia.

External linksEdit