Bangor and Greenhills join forces for new super club

by Dave Donnelly
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Bangor Celtic and Greenhills/Greenpark will join forces in the coming season to form a new superclub with three Leinster Senior Clubs competing at senior level.

The well-established Greenhills Boys club will remain separate as a schoolboy club but the hope is that the merger will prove so successful that all ages will be brought under one umbrella in time.

The new club follows Killester Donnycarney, Bluebell Knockmitten and Firhouse Clover/Sacred Heart in finding greater strength in numbers in the over-saturated Dublin football scene.

Bangor have been one of the top sides in Dublin football for some time but have had something of a nomadic existence with home grounds in Rathfarnham and the Iveagh Grounds in Crumlin.

The move gives them a permanent home in Dublin 12 and the merger with Greenhills and Green Park, who themselves merged in 2010, will give a greater focus in a historically strong football area.

“This opportunity came along with Greenhills/Green Park, and they have the same foresight and ambition that we have ourselves, so it fits like a hand in a glove,” said secretary Gerry Carney.

“We’d be hoping for a successful integration and, down the road, we’d be hopeful for a better quality player coming through. It’s good for the community.

“We’re all in Dublin 12 and we’re staying in Dublin 12. Rather than other schoolboy clubs picking away from that area, they might stay now if they have something to aim towards.”

The senior section will field three sides next year – in Sunday Senior, in Saturday Senior and Sunday Premier 1 – and players have already begun to integrate in the various sides.

A small number of players from Greenhills will make the step up to the senior side, coached by John Scott, Ger Looney and Anto Fitzpatrick.

The Senior Saturday side will be coached by John Scott while the manager of the Sunday Premier 1 side is yet to be confirmed, but players from both clubs will form a stronger selection in each.

“It’s a stronger force together.

“We would hope to attract better quality players now with the facilities that are available to us now, and hopefully challenge for senior honours again.

“Hopefully for the area, on a Sunday morning, the quality of football being played up there will attract other players.”

The club have already agreed on a new joint kit, which will be delivered before the end of the month while the players prepare for the new season, and excitement is brewing around the area.

Perhaps just as importantly, with the likes of Crumlin United, Cherry Orchard and Templeogue United operating within the vicinity, the merger allows the club to pool potential sponsors.

“Our sponsors have been very good to us over the years. Brian McElroy is the main sponsor, Permanent TSB and MG Hygiene have been excellent to us over the years.

“We get sponsorship from our local pub that we hold the lotto in and a number of other contributions that are always readily accepted.”

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