Newry City A.F.C.

Newry City Athletic Football Club is a semi-professional Northern Irish football club who played in, and won, the NIFL Championship in 2021-22, and will play in the NIFL Premiership in 2022-23. It is based in Newry, County Down and plays at the Showgrounds. The club's colours are blue and white, with striped jerseys and blue shorts.

Newry City
Newry City A.F.C.png
Full nameNewry City Athletic Football Club
Nickname(s)City
Founded2013 (Original club founded in 1918 dissolved in 2012).
GroundThe Showgrounds, Newry
Capacity7,949 (safe capacity 2,275, 1,080 seated)[1]
ChairmanMartin McLoughlin
ManagerDarren Mullen
LeagueNIFL Championship
2021–221st (Champion)
Current season

The club was created in 2013 after the city's former semi-professional club, Newry City F.C. was dissolved in September 2012, when a winding-up petition brought against the club by former player and manager Gerry Flynn was granted, and the club decided not to appeal the decision.[2][3][4] This led to the majority of Newry City's players leaving for Warrenpoint Town.[5] The new club, wearing the same colours and having the same home as its predecessor, is regarded as a phoenix club, but has, and claims, no legal connection to the former club business.

HistoryEdit

FoundationEdit

After the winding-up of Newry City F.C., discussions to form a new club began in December 2012. In February 2013, it was clarified that Newry City A.F.C. would be a new club and would not be liable for any debt owed by Newry City F.C.[6] There were discussions for the club to join the Republic of Ireland's League of Ireland, however the Irish Football Association said that they would block any attempt for Newry City to join the League of Ireland.[7] Newry City A.F.C. uses the old club's stadium, the Showgrounds, which is owned by Newry City F.C.'s season-ticket holders.[7] This meant that it was not sold when Newry City F.C. was wound up.[7]

Despite initial plans for the club to be named "Newry City 2012",[8] Newry City A.F.C. was officially launched by former Newry Town player Ollie Ralph on 7 March 2013, and it was announced that they would seek to join the Irish Football Association,[4] and play in the Intermediate B division of the Mid-Ulster Football League in the 2013–14 season.[9][10] Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill was originally scheduled to take part in the club's launch, but was unable to attend.[11]

Junior football from 2013Edit

In July 2013, the club was accepted as a member of the Mid-Ulster Football League Intermediate B division for the 2013–14 season - the fifth tier of football in Northern Ireland.[12] They won the division in their first season, gaining immediate promotion to Intermediate A (the fourth tier), which in turn they won in 2015-16 after two seasons, earning promotion to the NIFL Premier Intermediate League (the third tier).[13] In their first season in their division, the club were runners up, qualifying for the NIFL Championship Play-Off. Over two legs, the team beat Armagh City 7-2 on aggregate to earn promotion to the NIFL Championship for the 2017-2018 season, a third promotion in four years, and confirming the return of senior league football to the city for the first time since 2011.

Senior football from 2017Edit

The club's rise was completed in the following season, as the runners-up spot in the 2017-18 Championship, and a 6-3 aggregate win over Carrick Rangers in the NIFL Premiership Promotion-Relegation play-off saw the team reach the NIFL Premiership for the first time since its foundation, and top tier football return to the city for the first time since 2011. Relegated to the NIFL Championship the following season (2018-2019), Newry City AFC remained in the Championship during the COVID affected seasons 2019-20, and 2020–21, before earning promotion back to the Premiership, winning the Championship by six points in 2021-22. The NIFL Championship was the club's first senior title since its formation.

[14]

RivalriesEdit

Despite its short history, the club and its fans have developed a good-natured rivalry/relationship with local neighbours Warrenpoint Town F.C., who inherited a number of players from the dissolved Newry City F.C. club and ensured senior football survived in the area after the collapse of the former club. Separated by only six miles, with Newry City's home ground, the Newry Showgrounds, on the route out of Newry toward Warrenpoint, matches between the two have been dubbed "the Mourne Ultimatum" and victory in such matches as "the Mourne Supremacy"(referencing the Jason Bourne films). Crowds at both Milltown and Newry Showgrounds for such matches have also tended to be larger than for other games.[15] The relationship received some press attention when Warrenpoint Town, newly relegated from the NIFL Premiership sent messages of congratulation to Newry City AFC who had effectively been promoted in the other direction. The Newry club was effusive in its praise for the 'class' of their neighbours, and expressed hopes the 'Mourne Ultimatum' would soon be revived again with Warrenpoint Town returning to the NIFL Premiership.[16]

Current squadEdit

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   NIR Steven Maguire
2 DF   NIR Darren King
3 DF   NIR Noel Healy
4 DF   NIR Ryan McGivern
5 DF   NIR John Boyle
6 DF   NIR Fra Brennan
7 MF   NIR Jimmy Walker
8 MF   NIR Declan Carville
9 FW   NIR Daniel Hughes
10 FW   NIR Thomas Lockhart
11 DF   NIR Mark Hughes
12 FW   NIR Caolain Connell
14 DF   NIR Louis McKeown
No. Pos. Nation Player
15 FW   NIR James Teelan
16 FW   NIR John McGovern
17 FW   NIR Mark Kelly
18 DF   NIR Stephen Moan
19 FW   NIR Brian Healy
20 MF   NIR Joshua Wilson
21 MF   IRL Philip Donnelly
22 FW   NIR Ben Kavanagh
23 GK   IRL Niall Brady
24 MF   NIR Samuel McIlveen
27 DF   NIR Thomas Hardy
31 GK   IRL Mark Byrne
32 MF   IRL Stephen Lawless

HonoursEdit

Senior honoursEdit

Intermediate honoursEdit

Women's teamEdit

The women's team played its first season in 2011.[17][18] They won the Division 4 in 2011 and the Division 3 in 2012.[19] They won the Division 1 title in 2013.[20] The women's team was promoted to the Women's Premier League in 2014, after winning the Championship.[21] In their 2015 Premier League season they only had 2 defeats and were second place going into the final matchday. After Linfield only drew with Glentoran United and Newry City won the team took first place and won the Premier League title.[22]

They also reached the Irish Cup final in 2014 but lost on penalties.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Northern Ireland Assembly Answer to Written Question AQW1178/11 Archived 2010-10-30 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Newry City 0-4 Glenavon". BBC Sport. 26 April 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  3. ^ "Irish FA suspends Newry City after club is wound up". BBC Sport. 21 September 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Newry City's membership of the IFA is terminated". BBC Sport. 28 September 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  5. ^ "Newry old boys out to make point". Belfasttelegraph. Belfast Telegraph. 12 January 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  6. ^ "Newry City FC to be relaunched". Destination Newry. 25 February 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  7. ^ a b c "What does future hold for football in Newry?". BBC Sport. 7 November 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  8. ^ "Newry City poised to make comeback after being wound-up". BBC Sport. 4 December 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  9. ^ "Newry launches new football club". UTV. 8 March 2013. Archived from the original on 11 March 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  10. ^ "Delight as Newry City AFC officially launched". Newry Times. 9 March 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  11. ^ "Official NCAFC Launch this Thursday". newrycityafc.co.uk. 5 March 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
  12. ^ "City accepted into Mid Ulster Intermediate B league". newrycityafc.co.uk. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2013.
  13. ^ Newry Democrat
  14. ^ . Newry City AFC Official Twitter. 22 December 2020 Title=Annagh v Newry teamsheet https://twitter.com/newrycityafc/status/1341463426758021120?s=21 Title=Annagh v Newry teamsheet. Retrieved 3 April 2021. {{cite web}}: Check |url= value (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ "Newry claim Mourne Supremacy in Irish Cup derby clash". 10 January 2022.
  16. ^ Newry City and Warrenpoint Town show class amid contrasting fortunes
  17. ^ "NEWRY CITY GIRLS FLYING HIGH". Archived from the original on 29 April 2012.
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 28 August 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ "She Kicks - News Section: Seven Finals End Irish Season". Archived from the original on 27 January 2016.
  20. ^ "Newry City Ladies league trophy presentation".
  21. ^ "Summary - Championship Women - Northern Ireland - Results, fixtures, tables and news - Soccerway".
  22. ^ "Summary - Premiership Women - Northern Ireland - Results, fixtures, tables and news - Soccerway".

External linksEdit