A Championship

Last updated

A Championship
Founded 2008
Folded 2011
Country Flag of Ireland.svg Ireland
Level on pyramid3
Promotion to League of Ireland First Division
Domestic cup(s) FAI Cup
League cup(s) A Championship Cup
A Championship Shield
League of Ireland Cup
Last champions Derry City A
Most championships UCD A (2)

The A Championship, also known as the Newstalk A Championship, was an association football league featuring League of Ireland reserve teams and emerging senior teams. It was a third level league in the Republic of Ireland football league system. It was formed in 2008 and disbanded following the 2011 season. Between 2009 and 2011 the league was sponsored by Newstalk. It was effectively absorbed into the League of Ireland U19 Division. [1] [2] [3]

Contents

History

The idea of forming a regionalised A Championship was first proposed in 2006 as part of plan to reorganise the League of Ireland as a four tier structure. [4] [5] The A Championship eventually kicked off in 2008 and UCD A became the inaugural champions. [6] [7] Despite not defending their title in 2009, UCD subsequently went on to become the A Championship's most successful team. They were champions again in 2010 [2] [8] and then runners-up in 2011. [3] [9] Two other reserve teams, Shamrock Rovers A and Derry City A finished as champions in 2009 and 2011 respectively. [10] [11] [3] [9]

When the A Championship was founded in 2008, thirteen of the sixteen inaugural members were the reserve teams of League of Ireland clubs. The other three teams were Mervue United, Salthill Devon and Tullamore Town. [7] Sporting Fingal were also expected to join the A Championship for the 2008 season. However when Kilkenny City withdrew from the First Division shortly before the season was due to start, Sporting Fingal were drafted in to replace them. [12] The 2009 season featured six non-reserve teams. After Mervue United gained promotion to the First Division, Salthill Devon and Tullamore Town were joined by Cobh Ramblers, Castlebar Celtic, F.C. Carlow and Tralee Dynamos. The latter three were all making their debut at senior national level. They were also the first clubs from their respective counties of Mayo, Carlow and Kerry to play at this level. [13] [14] [15] Castlebar Celtic and Tullamore Town both withdraw following the conclusion of the 2010 season but among their replacements were Fanad United. The non-reserve teams also represented the A Championship in the League of Ireland Cup and the FAI Cup. [16] [17]

In 2009 at the League of Ireland clubs' annual convention, Dundalk called for the A Championship to be scrapped, arguing that it was putting an unwelcome financial burden on participating clubs. At the same convention Waterford United proposed that it should be optional rather than compulsory for senior sides to field a reserve team in the league. Drogheda United raised concerns about the "unacceptable level" of refereeing. According to a report in the Irish Independent one club, short of two players for an away match, paid two locals to make up their team while a number of fixtures were postponed because clubs di not have enough players. [18]

Following the conclusion of the 2011 season, the A Championship was absorbed into the League of Ireland U19 Division. [12] Cobh Ramblers and Tralee Dynamos both unsuccessfully applied to join the 2012 League of Ireland First Division. [19] [20] Ramblers did however join the First Division in 2013 and Dynamos, together with Fanad United, joined the U19 Division. [21] [22] [23] In 2013 Shamrock Rovers entered their reserve team in the First Division. [24] [25] [26]

Format

The A Championship format saw the members of the league split into two groups, divided roughly into southern and northern groups. The two groups used a traditional round-robin format. In 2008, 2009 and 2010, the two group winners played off in a final. [7] [10] In 2011 the two group runners-up also qualified for the title play-off. [27] A promotion and relegation system operated between the League of Ireland Premier Division, the League of Ireland First Division and the A Championship. Reserve teams were ineligible for promotion but the highest placed non-reserve teams qualified for a promotion/relegation play-off against a First Division team providing they finished in the top three of their group. Mervue United in 2008 and Salthill Devon in 2009 were both promoted to the First Division. [7] In contrast Cobh Ramblers were relegated directly from the 2008 Premier Division to the 2009 A Championship after they failed to obtain a First Division license. [13] [10]

List of finals

SeasonWinnerResultsRunners-upVenue
2008 UCD A 2–1 [6] Bohemians A UCD Bowl
2009 Shamrock Rovers A 1–0 [11] Salthill Devon Drom Soccer Park
2010 UCD A 2–1 [2] [8] Bohemians A UCD Bowl
2011 Derry City A 3–2 [3] [9] UCD A Brandywell Stadium

A Championship Shield

SeasonWinnerResultRunner-upVenue
2008 Cork City A [28] 3–2 Bohemians A Buckley Park [29]

A Championship Cup

SeasonWinnerResultRunner-upVenue
2010 Sporting Fingal A 3–2 Bohemians A Dalymount Park

Teams

TeamHome town/suburbGroundSeasons
Bohemians A Phibsborough AUL Complex
Dalymount Park
2008–11
Bray Wanderers A Bray Jackson Park 2008–11
F.C. Carlow County Carlow The Valley
The Meadows
2009–11
Castlebar Celtic Castlebar Celtic Park 2009–10
Cobh Ramblers [note 1] Cobh St Colman's Park 2008–11
Cork City A Cork Turner's Cross 2008–09
Derry City A Derry Brandywell Stadium 2008–09
2011
Drogheda United A Drogheda United Park 2008–11
Dundalk A Dundalk Oriel Park 2009–11
Fanad United Fanad Tragh-a-Lough2011
Finn Harps A Ballybofey Finn Park 2008–11
Galway United A Galway Athenry
Castle Park
2008–11
Limerick A [note 2] Limerick Jackman Park
Riverside Park
Aisling-Annacotty Grounds
2008
2010–11
Mervue United Galway Fahy's Field2008
St Patrick's Athletic A Inchicore Richmond Park 2008–11
Salthill Devon Salthill Drom Soccer Park 2008–09
Shamrock Rovers A Drumcondra
Tallaght
Tolka Park
Tallaght Stadium
2008–11
Shelbourne A Drumcondra Tolka Park 2010
Sligo Rovers A Sligo Showgrounds
Sligo IT Grounds
2008–11
Sporting Fingal A Fingal ALSAA Sports Complex2009–10
Tralee Dynamos Tralee Cahermoneen2009–11
Tullamore Town Tullamore Leah Victoria Park 2008–10
UCD A Belfield UCD Bowl 2008
2009–11

Notes

  1. Cobh Ramblers fielded their reserve team in the 2008 season and their first team during the latter three seasons.
  2. Limerick A played as Limerick 37 A during the 2008 season.

See also

Related Research Articles

Kildare County F.C. Football club

Kildare County F.C. was an Irish association football club based in Newbridge, County Kildare. Between 2002–03 and 2009 they played in the League of Ireland First Division. During this time they also entered a team in the League of Ireland U21 Division.

Salthill Devon F.C. Football club

Salthill Devon Football Club is an Irish association football club originally based in Salthill, Galway. Their senior team currently plays in the Galway & District League. They have previously played in the Connacht Senior League, the A Championship and the League of Ireland First Division. In 2012 they played under the name SD Galway. Since 2005 Salthill Devon have hosted a youth tournament known as the Galway Cup.

League of Ireland Football league

The League of Ireland, together with the Football Association of Ireland, is one of the two main governing bodies responsible for organising association football in the Republic of Ireland. The term was originally used to refer to a single division league. However today the League of Ireland features five divisions – the Premier Division, the First Division, U19 Division, U17 Division, U15 Division and starting U13 Division. The League of Ireland has always worked closely with the FAI and in 2006 the two bodies formally merged. All the divisions are currently sponsored by Airtricity and as a result the league is also known as the SSE Airtricity League. In 2007, it became one of the first leagues in Europe to introduce a salary cap.

League of Ireland First Division Football league

The League of Ireland First Division, also known as the SSE Airtricity League First Division, is the second level division in both the League of Ireland and the Republic of Ireland football league system. The division was formed in 1985. It replaced the League of Ireland B Division as the League of Ireland's second level division. Since 2003 the First Division has operated as a summer league.

Mervue United A.F.C. Football club

Mervue United A.F.C. is an Irish association football club based in Mervue, Galway. Their senior men's team currently plays in the Galway & District League. The club has previously fielded teams in the Connacht Senior League, the League of Ireland U21 Division, the A Championship and the League of Ireland First Division.

F.C. Carlow Football club

F.C. Carlow was an Irish association football club based in County Carlow. Between 2009 and 2011 the club played in the A Championship. They also fielded teams in the League of Ireland U20/U19 Division. They were the first and to date so far, the only association football club from County Carlow to play in a senior national level league. During this time, the club also competed in the FAI Cup, the League of Ireland Cup and the Leinster Senior Cup.

2010 A Championship

The 2010 A Championship was the third season of the A Championship. The season was sponsored by Newstalk. The league featured 18 teams. UCD A were the champions, winning the title for a second time while Bohemians A finished as runners up.

2008 A Championship

The 2008 A Championship was the inaugural season of the A Championship. The league featured 16 teams. UCD A were the inaugural champions, Cork City A won the Shield competition and Mervue United were promoted to the First Division after a play off.

2009 A Championship

The 2009 A Championship was the second season of the A Championship. The season was sponsored by Newstalk. The league featured 18 teams. Shamrock Rovers A were the champions while the runners up, Salthill Devon, were promoted to the First Division.

2011 A Championship

The 2011 A Championship was the fourth and final season of the A Championship. The season was sponsored by Newstalk. The league featured 16 teams. Derry City A were the champions, while UCD A finished as runners up.

The 2011 FAI Senior Challenge Cup, also known as the 2011 FAI Ford Cup, is the 91st season of the national football competition of the Republic of Ireland. The winners of the competition will earn spots in both the second qualifying round of the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League and the 2012 Setanta Sports Cup.

The 2013 FAI Senior Challenge Cup, also known as the 2013 FAI Ford Senior Cup, was the 93rd season of the national football competition of the Republic of Ireland. The winners of the competition earned a spot in the first qualifying round of the 2014-15 UEFA Europa League.

Shamrock Rovers II is the reserve team of Shamrock Rovers. Throughout its history Rovers have entered reserve teams in various leagues including the Leinster Senior League, the League of Ireland B Division, the A Championship and the League of Ireland First Division.

Galway United F.C. Football club

Galway United Football Club is an Irish association football club based in Galway. They play in the League of Ireland First Division. They were founded as Galway Rovers F.C. during the 1930s. They made their League of Ireland debut in 1977–78 and changed their name to Galway United in 1981–82. After suffering financial difficulties, the club dropped out of the League of Ireland after the 2011 season but in 2014 Galway United returned initially playing as Galway F.C. for a season.

The 2016 FAI Senior Challenge Cup, also known as the 2016 FAI Irish Daily Mail Senior Cup for sponsorship reasons, was the 96th season of the national Football competition of the Republic of Ireland. The winners of the competition earned a spot in the First Qualifying Round of the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League.

The 2008 League of Ireland First Division season was the 24th season of the League of Ireland First Division. The First Division was contested by 10 teams and Dundalk won the division.

The 2010 League of Ireland First Division season was the 26th season of the League of Ireland First Division. The First Division was contested by 12 teams and Derry City won the title.

The 2012 League of Ireland First Division season was the 28th season of the League of Ireland First Division. The First Division was contested by 8 teams and Limerick won the title.

The 2013 League of Ireland First Division season was the 29th season of the League of Ireland First Division. The First Division was contested by 8 teams and Athlone Town won the title.

The 2014 League of Ireland First Division season was the 30th season of the League of Ireland First Division. The First Division was contested by eight teams and Longford Town won the title. Galway were also promoted.

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