Wanderers junior history

by Karl Graham
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WANDERERS will play in their first men’s county final in 48 years when they take on Ballymun Kickhams in Crumlin this Sunday.
They beat Bank of Ireland by 2-5 to 0-9 to reach the Junior B football championship final, where they will go in as underdogs to the experienced Kickhams.
Wanderers, based in Frank Kelly Park in Rockbrook, is one of the oldest clubs in Dublin having been founded in 1910 and became the first team to win the junior championship in 1928.
And manager Stephen Harrington is looking to build on that history but said to GazetteSport in the lead-up to the final that the club has has fight to hold onto players and their chances in the final.
With no senior or intermediate team, the junior championship final is currently as big as it gets for Wanderers.
“It’s great for the club and it would be lovely to think a junior club could win the junior championship because that’s all we have. Our first-team that goes out on Sunday is what we have; we don’t have Under-21s to pull players from, we don’t have an intermediate or senior side to re-grade players down from.
“The fact that we have got to the final on our own merits is pretty incredible, given the clubs that we have played who all had higher teams, with the exception of Bank of Ireland,” said Harrington.
“We are a small club that is surrounded by some of the biggest in the country and it is very difficult to survive in that kind of environment,” he said.
“The problem being that you get a decent young fella playing away, then suddenly he is tapped up by a bigger team in the immediate locality.”
The team may be going into the final as underdogs but Harrington insists they have no intention of just making up the numbers.
“Ballymun are a very good side with some ex-county players playing with them.
“They are very strong and have been in a lot of finals but we won’t be going there to make up the numbers; we are going there to win. We’ll be very proud of the lads win, lose, or draw.”
The club is in the best condition it has been in for years and with plans to rejuvenate the pitch and install new floodlights, as well as hiring a full-time GPO, things are only going to get better for Wanderers.
The team will take on Kickhams at 12pm in O’Toole Park this Sunday.

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