Joseph’s/OCB’s big plans

by Stephen Findlater

St Joseph’s OCB are hoping to find the next batch of inner-city heroes as they look to revive the footballing arm of the famous club.

Manager John Archbold feels the elements are in place for major growth if the people of East Wall, Ballybough, North Wall and Summerhill can get behind his project following a rough spell for the club.

Founded over a century ago, St Joseph’s quickly through the ranks, winning a maiden senior football championship in 1930 and was the starting ground for over 34 Dublin county players.

But the migration of the innercity population out to the suburbs saw the club struggle for numbers as time went on, leading to their amalgamation with Summerhill-based O’Connell Boys – the home of Dublin legend Paddy Cullen – in 1989.

Since then, the adult football side has dropped down to AFL Division 10 and deep into the junior ranks but ‘Archie’ – who won a Junior B championship with the club in 2004 – says the elements are coming into place to revive fortunes.

The first piece of the puzzle saw the club open their new clubhouse on Seville Place under the old railway arches in 2013 with a state-of-the-art gym available.

And the club has enjoyed a big rise through the ranks on the hurling front, winning three successive championships with a F title in 2016, the E crown in 2017 and, in 2018, they took home the D championship.

The manager is delighted to have a full panel in place for their opening football session of 2020 and says there is big scope to build momentum.

“We have got together a good few influential people to help with the team with the league coming up in about three weeks time,” he told Dublin Gazette.

“Despite a long struggle, we are somehow still going. The rate of decline of GAA in the innercity area of Dublin in the last 40 years has been phenomenal but St Joseph’s OCB are very proud to still be flying the GAA flag.

“We have big plans to get things going in 2020. There was a full panel there in terrible conditions last Saturday, a great platform to build from and we have everything in place to make a real go of things for the footballers.

“The gym in the clubhouse is top class and we are working under the lights at the all-weather in Thomas Street on Thursdays.

“What we need now is for the people of East Wall and the local area to get up and support us.

“We are appealing to all GAA fans and sports enthusiasts to come out and support your local club.”

Weekend trainings are taking place in Fairview Park where they now have access to an additional pitch. From this jump-off, they are keen to develop a youth section in the club.

** If you want to get involved with St Joseph’s OCB, contact John Archbold on 086 321 2478.

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