Ulster Senior League (association football)

Last updated

Ulster Senior League
Ulster Senior League (association football) logo.jpg
Founded1986
Country Flag of Ireland.svg Ireland
Region County Donegal
Number of teams7
Level on pyramid3
Domestic cup(s) FAI Cup
FAI Intermediate Cup
Knockalla Caravans Senior Cup
League cup(s)Ulster Senior League Cup
Current champions Cockhill Celtic
Most championships Fanad United (14)
Website uslfootball.com

The Ulster Senior League is an association football league featuring amateur, intermediate, and League of Ireland reserve teams. Together with the Leinster Senior League Senior Division and the Munster Senior League Senior Premier Division, it forms the third level of the Republic of Ireland football league system. Ulster Senior League teams also compete in the FAI Cup and the FAI Intermediate Cup. The winners of the Ulster Senior League have also been invited to play in the League of Ireland Cup. Despite using the Ulster name in its title, almost all of its clubs are based in County Donegal. The most successful club in the league has been Fanad United who have won fourteen league titles and ten league cups. Since 2006 the USL has operated as a summer league with the season typically operating from April to October.

League of Ireland association 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, an U19 Division, an U17 Division, an U15 Division and starting March 2019 an 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. The league's most successful club is Shamrock Rovers who have won 17 titles. Together with Dundalk, Bohemians and Shelbourne they are one of four clubs in the league to feature a golden star above their badge in recognition of winning ten titles. Bohemians are the only club in the league to have played every season in the top division.

In sports, a reserve team is a team composed of players under contract to a specific team but who do not normally appear on the team's roster during matches. Reserve teams are usually composed of young players who need playing time in order to improve their skills, as well as members of the first team recovering from injury.

The Leinster Senior League Senior Division is the top division of the Leinster Senior League. It is organized by the Leinster Football Association. Together with the Munster Senior League Senior Premier Division and the Ulster Senior League Senior Division, it forms the third level of the Republic of Ireland football league system. Formed in 1896, it is the oldest association football league in what is now the Republic of Ireland. Shelbourne have won the most titles. However, in more recent seasons Crumlin United, Cherry Orchard, Wayside Celtic and Bangor Celtic have been the divisions strongest teams. In 2014–15 Bluebell United were Leinster Senior League champions, 27 years after winning their previous title. Clubs from this division play in the Leinster Senior Cup, the FAI Cup, the FAI Intermediate Cup and the FAI Junior Cup. In recent seasons the winners of the Senior Division have also been invited to play in the League of Ireland Cup.

Contents

History

The Ulster Senior League was formed in 1986. The driving force behind the establishment of the league was Fr. Michael Sweeney, a pioneer of junior and intermediate association football in County Donegal. In addition to founding the USL, Sweeney had earlier been instrumental in both establishing the Donegal League and forming Fanad United. [1] [2] Fanad United were the inaugural USL champions in 1986–87 and they subsequently went on to become the league's most successful club, winning fourteen league titles and ten league cups. In more recent seasons, Cockhill Celtic have challenged Fanad United's dominance, winning their first title in 2010 and then four consecutive titles between 2013 and 2016. [3] [4] The winners of the Ulster Senior League have regularly been invited to participate in the League of Ireland Cup. In 1987–88 Fanad United were semi-finalists. Cockhill Celtic, Culdaff and Swilly Rovers have all represented the USL in the League of Ireland Cup. [2] [5] Fanad United have also won the FAI Intermediate Cup twice while Letterkenny Rovers were finalists in 2015–16. [6] [7]

County Donegal County in the Republic of Ireland

County Donegal is a county of Ireland in the province of Ulster. It is named after the town of Donegal in the south of the county. Donegal County Council is the local council and Lifford the county town.

Fanad United F.C.

Fanad United Football Club is an Irish association football club based in Fanad, County Donegal. Their senior men's team currently plays in the Ulster Senior League. In 1986–87 they were both founding members and inaugural champions of the USL. They remain the USL's most successful club, having won fourteen titles. They also field teams in both the Donegal Youth League and the Donegal Women's League. They have previously fielded teams in both the A Championship and the League of Ireland U19 Division. They have also played in the FAI Cup, the League of Ireland Cup and the FAI Intermediate Cup. They have won the latter competition on two occasions, in 1987–88 and 1994–95.

Cockhill Celtic F.C.

Cockhill Celtic Football Club is an Irish association football (soccer) club based in Buncrana, County Donegal. Their senior men's team currently plays in the Ulster Senior League.

2019 teams

TeamHome town/suburbHome ground
Bonagee United Letterkenny Dry Arch Park
Cockhill Celtic Buncrana Charlie O'Donnell Sports Grounds
Derry City Reserves Derry Brandywell Stadium
Fanad United Fanad Traigh-a-Loch
Finn Harps Reserves Ballybofey Finn Park
Letterkenny Rovers Letterkenny Leckview Park
Swilly Rovers Ramelton Swilly Park

Source: [8]

Champions

List of winners by season

SeasonWinnerRunner-up
2017–18 Cockhill Celtic
2016–17 Cockhill Celtic
2016 Cockhill Celtic
2015 Cockhill Celtic
2014 Cockhill Celtic Derry City Reserves [9]
2013 Cockhill Celtic Drumkeen United [10]
2012 Derry City Reserves Cockhill Celtic [11]
2011 Fanad United
2010 Cockhill Celtic
2009 Letterkenny Rovers Kildrum Tigers
2008Kildrum Tigers Fanad United
2007Kildrum Tigers Fanad United
2006–07 Fanad United Kildrum Tigers
2005–06 Fanad United Kildrum Tigers
2004–05 Letterkenny Rovers Kildrum Tigers
2003–04Kildrum Tigers Letterkenny Rovers
2002–03Quigleys Point Swifts Letterkenny Rovers
2001–02Quigleys Point Swifts
2000–01 Fanad United Quigleys Point Swifts
1999–00Swilly Rovers Keadue Rovers
1998–99 Finn Harps Reserves Swilly Rovers
1997–98 Fanad United Swilly Rovers
1996–97 Fanad United
1995–96 Fanad United Derry City Reserves
1994–95 Fanad United
1993–94 Fanad United
1992–93 Fanad United Finn Harps Reserves
1991–92 Buncrana Hearts Fanad United
1990–91 Fanad United
1989–90 Fanad United
1988–89Culdaff Fanad United/Letterkenny Rovers
1987–88 Fanad United Letterkenny Rovers
1986–87 Fanad United

Source: [3]

List of winners by club

ClubTitlesSeasons
Fanad United 141986–87, 1987–88, 1989–90, 1990–91, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1997–98, 2000–01, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2011
Cockhill Celtic 72010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2016–17, 2017–18
Kildrum Tigers32003–04, 2007, 2008
Letterkenny Rovers 22004–05, 2009
Quigley's Point Swifts22001–02, 2002–03
Buncrana Hearts 11991–92
Culdaff11988–89
Derry City Reserves 12012
Finn Harps Reserves 11998–99
Swilly Rovers11999–00

Source: [3]

Ulster Senior League Cup

The Ulster Senior League Cup has had four different sponsors since first being played for in 1986–87. Initially, the competition was sponsored by the Hotel Glenveagh in Gweedore before being sponsored by Hydro Seafoods and then Marine Harvest. It is now known as the Donegal News Ulster Senior League Cup. [4]

Gweedore Parish in Ulster, Ireland

Gweedore is an Irish-speaking district and parish located on the Atlantic coast of County Donegal in the west of Ulster in the north-west of Ireland. Gweedore stretches some 26 kilometres (16 mi) from Glasserchoo in the north to Crolly in the south and around 14 kilometres (9 mi) from Dunlewey in the east to Magheraclogher in the west, and is one of Europe's most densely populated rural areas. It is the largest Irish-speaking parish in Ireland with a population of around 4,065, and is also the home of the northwest regional studios of the Irish-language radio service RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, as well as an external campus of National University of Ireland, Galway. Gweedore includes the villages Bunbeg, Derrybeg, Dunlewey, Crolly and Brinalack, and sits in the shade of County Donegal's highest peak, Errigal.

<i>Donegal News</i>

The Donegal News is a twice-weekly local newspaper in the northwest of the island of Ireland, first published in 1902. Originally covering Derry, Northern Ireland, it moved across the border to Letterkenny, County Donegal, at the beginning of World War II and took on more of a Donegal focus. It is owned by the North West of Ireland Printing and Publishing Company, which was established in 1901 by the Lynch family, who also own several other papers in the region including the Ulster Herald, Fermanagh Herald, Strabane Chronicle, Tyrone Herald, and Gaelic Life. Its two editions had a circulation of 15,467 for the first half of 2010, with the Friday edition accounting for most of the figure. Its main competitors are the Donegal Democrat and Derry Journal. The paper, despite a 'rebranding' several years ago, continues to be known, for short, locally across the northern half of County Donegal as The Derry People.

Finals

SeasonWinnerScoreRunner-upVenue
1986–87Carndonagh1–0Culdaff
1987–88 Fanad United 4–4 Buncrana Hearts
Replay Fanad United 1–0 Buncrana Hearts
1988–89 Fanad United 3–0 Derry City Reserves
1989–90St Catherine's4–3Swilly Rovers
1990–91 Derry City Reserves 0–0 Fanad United
Replay Derry City Reserves 0–0 Fanad United
2nd Replay Derry City Reserves 2–0 Fanad United
1991–92 Letterkenny Rovers 3–0 Bonagee United
1992–93 Fanad United 1–0 [note 1] Buncrana Hearts
1993–94
1994–95 Fanad United 3–1 Buncrana Hearts
1995–96 Fanad United 2–1Drumoghill Celtic
1996–97 Derry City Reserves 2–0Drumkeen United
1997–98Swilly Rovers5–0 [note 2] Derry City Reserves
1998–99Swilly Rovers2–1 Fanad United
1999–00Drumoghill Celtic3–0 Fanad United
2000–01 Derry City Reserves 2–0Quigleys Point Swifts
2001–02 Letterkenny Rovers 3–0Swilly Rovers
2002–03 Bonagee United 2–0 Fanad United
2003–04 Letterkenny Rovers 4–0 Keadue Rovers
2004–05 Fanad United 3–0Swilly Rovers 0
2005–06 Fanad United 1–1 [note 3] Killea
2006–07Kildrum Tigers2–0 Fanad United
2007 Fanad United 1–0Swilly Rovers
2008 Fanad United 2–0 Buncrana Hearts
2009Drumkeen United2–2 [note 4] Fanad United
2010 Cockhill Celtic 3–0 Derry City Reserves
2011 Fanad United 2–1 Cockhill Celtic
2012 Letterkenny Rovers 5–3Drumkeen United
2013 Cockhill Celtic 1–0Drumkeen United
2014 Cockhill Celtic 1–0Swilly Rovers
2015 Cockhill Celtic 2–1 Bonagee United
2016 Cockhill Celtic 2–0 Letterkenny Rovers

Source: [4]

Notes
  1. After extra time
  2. Final abandoned with Swilly Rovers leading Derry City Reserves 5–0 at half-time
  3. After extra time. Fanad United win 4–2 on penalties
  4. After extra time. Drumkeen United win 4–2 on penalties

Representative team

An Ulster Senior League representative team competes in the FAI Intermediate Interprovincial Tournament against teams representing the Leinster Senior League, the Munster Senior League and Connacht. [12]

Leinster Senior League (association football) soccer league

The Leinster Senior League is an association football league organised by the Leinster Football Association. In 2015–16 the Leinster Senior League operated twenty divisions. It also organises various cup competitions. Its Senior Division is a third level division in the Republic of Ireland football league system. Leinster Senior League teams also compete in the Leinster Senior Cup, the FAI Cup, the FAI Intermediate Cup and the FAI Junior Cup. In recent seasons the winners of the Senior Division have also qualified to play in the League of Ireland Cup. Despite using the Leinster name in its title, the vast majority of its member clubs are based in the Greater Dublin Area.

The Munster Senior League is an association football league organized by the Munster Football Association. It currently organizes seven divisions as well as various cup competitions. It's Senior Division is a third level division in the Republic of Ireland football league system. Munster Senior League teams also compete in the Munster Senior Cup, the FAI Cup, the FAI Intermediate Cup and the FAI Junior Cup. In recent seasons the winners of the Senior Division have qualified to play in the League of Ireland Cup. Despite using the Munster name in its title, the vast majority of its member clubs are based in County Cork. However, in the past it has included clubs from County Limerick, County Waterford, County Kerry and County Tipperary.

The Connacht Football Association is the governing body for association football in the Irish province of Connacht. It is affiliated to the Football Association of Ireland and is currently responsible for organizing the Connacht Junior Cup and four junior leagues – the Galway & District League, the Mayo Association Football League, the Roscommon and District Football League and the Sligo/Leitrim & District League as well as numerous other leagues and cup competitions for junior teams. In the past it has also been responsible for organizing the Connacht Senior Cup and the Connacht Senior League. However both of these competitions are currently inactive.

Notable former players

Republic of Ireland internationals
Northern Ireland U21 international
League of Ireland First Division Top Scorer
League of Ireland manager

Related Research Articles

Letterkenny Rovers F.C.

Letterkenny Rovers Football Club is an association football club from Ireland, currently competing in the Ulster Senior League. The club is based in Letterkenny and the team play their home games at Leckview Park.

The FAI Intermediate Cup, also known as the FAI Umbro Intermediate Cup and the Pat O'Brien Intermediate Challenge Cup, is a cup competition organized by the Football Association of Ireland for intermediate association football clubs from the Republic of Ireland. These include clubs competing in the Leinster Senior League, the Munster Senior League and the Ulster Senior League. It was originally known as the FAI Qualifying Cup and from the beginning it has been used as a qualifying competition for the senior FAI Cup. It is currently sponsored by Umbro and has previously been sponsored by Carlsberg.

The 2011-12 FAI Umbro Intermediate Cup was the 85th season of the tournament's existence. 94 clubs competed to win the title, and it was Avondale United who were the victors after they beat Cherry Orchard 2-1 for the second successive season in the final after extra time in Tallaght Stadium to gain their fifth Intermediate Cup title. The 16 teams that reached the fourth round qualified for the 2012 FAI Cup.

The 2012–13 Umbro FAI Intermediate Cup was the 86th season of the tournament's existence. 94 clubs competed to win the title. Avondale United are the defending champions after they beat Cherry Orchard 2-1 for the second successive season in the final after extra time in Tallaght Stadium to gain their fifth Intermediate Cup title. The 16 teams that reach the fourth round will qualify for the 2013 FAI Cup.

The Munster Senior League Senior Premier Division is the top division of the Munster Senior League. It is organized by the Munster Football Association. Together with the Leinster Senior League Senior Division and the Ulster Senior League Senior Division, it forms the third level of the Republic of Ireland football league system. Clubs from this division play in the Munster Senior Cup, the FAI Cup, and the FAI Intermediate Cup. In recent seasons the winners of the Senior Division have also been invited to play in the League of Ireland Cup. Avondale United and UCC represented the division in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

The 2013–14 FAI Umbro Intermediate Cup was the 87th season of the FAI Intermediate Cup. Intermediate clubs from the Leinster Senior League, the Munster Senior League and the Ulster Senior League entered the competition. Avondale United finished as winners after they defeated UCD Reserves 3–0 in the final in Turners Cross. As a result Avondale United also became only the second club after Distillery to win the cup four times in a row. They also became the first club to win the FAI Intermediate Cup seven times, making them the competition's most successful club.

Nora Stapleton is a former Ireland women's rugby union international. Stapleton represented Ireland at the 2010, 2014 and 2017 Women's Rugby World Cups. She was also a member of the Ireland teams that won the 2013 and 2015 Women's Six Nations Championships. Stapleton was a member of the first Ireland teams to defeat both England and New Zealand. Stapleton has also played two other football codes at a senior level. As a women's association football player, she played for UCD in FAI Women's Cup finals and UEFA Women's Cup campaigns. She has also played senior Ladies' Gaelic football for Donegal.

The 2016–17 FAI Intermediate Cup, also known as the 2016–17 Umbro FAI Intermediate Cup for sponsorship reasons, is the 90th season of the national Intermediate Football competition of the Republic of Ireland. The sixteen teams that reach the Fourth Round will qualify for the 2017 FAI Cup.

Distillery Football Club was an Irish association football club originally based on Distillery Road in Drumcondra, Dublin. The club was active during the 1930s and 1940s, fielding teams in both the Leinster Senior League and the Athletic Union League. They also competed in the FAI Cup, the FAI Intermediate Cup, the FAI Junior Cup and the Leinster Senior Cup, winning the three latter trophies. Despite their successes at intermediate and junior level, unlike their contemporaries Sligo Rovers and St Patrick's Athletic, Distillery never joined the League of Ireland.

Pobalscoil Chloich Cheannfhaola

Pobalscoil Chloich Cheannfhaola(PCC), also known as PCC Falcarragh, is a voluntary/state-funded, coeducational, inter-denominational secondary school in Falcarragh, Co. Donegal, Ireland. Located north of the town centre of Falcarragh, its catchment area includes the districts of Cloughaneely, Dunfanaghy and Creeslough, although they have also traditionally attracted some students from Gweedore and The Rosses.

Charles McGeever is an Irish footballer from County Donegal. He played association football as a defender for Fanad United and in the League of Ireland for Sligo Rovers and Finn Harps. He played Gaelic football in midfield for Donegal, for which he also captained. He has had success while managing Finn Harps, as well as the Clonmel Commercials GAA club and the Tipperary county team.

The 2019 League of Ireland Cup, also known for sponsorship reasons as the 2019 EA Sports Cup, is the 46th season of the League of Ireland's secondary knockout competition. The EA Sports Cup features teams from the SSE Airtricity League Premier and First Divisions, as well as some intermediate level teams. It began on 4 March 2019.

References

  1. "USL founder member and Fanad United legend Fr Mick honoured". uslfootball.com. 2 October 2016. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  2. 1 2 "'Fr Mick': Founding Father, guiding light and history maker". donegalsporthub.com. 7 June 2016. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  3. 1 2 3 "Ulster Senior League – Roll of Honour". uslfootball.com. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  4. 1 2 3 "Ulster Senior League – League Cup". uslfootball.com. Retrieved 15 November 2016.
  5. "Ireland – Ireland League Cup 1973/74-2006". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
  6. "Ireland – FA Intermediate Cup Winners and Runners-up". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  7. "Crumlin United retain FAI Intermediate Cup". fai.ie. 14 May 2016. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  8. "League Table 4 Lanterns Ulster Senior League". www.uslfootball.com. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
  9. "(2014) League Table Ulster Senior League". uslfootball.com. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  10. "(2013) League Table Ulster Senior League". uslfootball.com. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  11. "(2012) League Table Ulster Senior League". uslfootball.com. Retrieved 22 November 2016.
  12. "League Table 2016 FAI Intermediate Interprovincial Tournament". uslfootball.com. Retrieved 22 November 2016.