Fern Celtic FC made history on Saturday as the club’s first ever junior men’s side took to the field.

Established in 2001 by Leonard Meaney and Timmy Healy, son of the late Frank after whom the County Grounds in Doora are named after, Fern Celtic began with U11 and U16 teams. Three of the players in those two teams were Declan Meaney, Liam Meaney and Mark Healy.

Over the next number 20 years the club continued to grow with girls and boys teams lining out from U6 all the way to U16 with numerous successes. Up until 2021, there was no opportunity to progress into adult football with the club.

On Saturday, the club made history as Declan (captain), Mark and Liam lined out twenty years on, for the first ever Fern Celtic Junior Men’s team. The club hosted Bunratty Cratloe FC in the tie which also kicked off their twenty year anniversary celebrations.

“It’s a great achievement for the club and is a testament of the hard work and commitment that has gone on for the last 20 years. We now have both Underage and Junior team setup, for male and female players, and our players are able to stay with the one club if they wish from U6 up until they decide to stop playing, and hopefully begin to start coaching,” club chairman Ciaran Collins stated.

Exciting times are on the horizon for the club, junior manager Richard Cahill predicted. “It is a pleasure to work with a bunch of really decent lads, most of whom are fulfilling their ambition to play for the club they started out with. They are really enjoying coming home and collectively embracing the opportunity to create a road for advancement for the up-coming teenagers. And those teenagers are a credit to Fern Celtic’s underage coaching”.

As part of the celebrations on Saturday, the club’s new sponsor, Madrassori Doggy Day Care Centre, owned by Sile Lynch presented with their first set of jerseys.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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