CABINTEELY FC’s admittance in the League of Ireland set-up has been met with some mixed reaction across footballing circles in the country.
Some argue that a club without a stadium of their own and no recent major success in junior football will not work in the League of Ireland ladder while others point to the community feel, large membership and excellent coaching set-up at the South Dublin club and say why not?
But speaking to GazetteSport at the launch of SSE Airtricity League at the Aviva Stadium last Friday, Cabinteely’s assistant manager Dave Mackey was clear on the club’s ambitions at this early stage, and spoke with reassuring words that this new project would not follow previous “flash in the pan clubs”.
Mackey, who joined Cabo from the team they are replacing in the First Division, Shamrock Rovers B, spoke of the excitement around the club as the league opener against Wexford Youths draws nearer.
“We’re all really excited at the club,” he said. “I think it’s important to say we’re not really thinking about the short-term however.
“What we are focusing on is a long-term structure where we can bring players through from the Cabinteely younger age schoolboy sides. At the moment, it’s all about setting up a structure or pathway for players to come through. That’s the primary goal.”
The assistant manager believes creating a sustainable model is the key to ensuring Cabinteely is not a repeat of the likes of Dublin City and Sporting Fingal who gathered some initial traction, and even won a cup in Fingal’s case, but eventually fell away due to financial problems.
“Absolutely, that is the key. It’ll take us a while to get used to things. We’ll still be recruiting players during the course of the season but the primary thing is to have stability and make sure we’re building good structures going forward. Results are not the main priority at this moment in time.”
The side will play their home games at Stradbrook, the home of Blackrock Rugby Club, starting with the visit of Wexford Youths this Friday night. Although many of the Cabo locals and supporters will be hoping for a respectable finish in this debut season, Mackey reiterated the ambitions of youth development in his closing line.
“We’re not actually thinking that far ahead in terms of silverware or league positions for this club as of yet,” he said.
“You have to remember, we’re an amateur club, so our players are on an amateur basis. Our focus is on recruiting and developing young players and trying to get the maximum out of them that we can and if they move on to bigger and better things.”