VOLUNTEERS WANTED: Killarney Athletic AFC Soccer Club are seeking volunteers as the club is rapidly expanding. Pictured were: Geraldine Nagle (Chairperson) with Mike O’Shea (Vice Chair) and Martin Muldoon (Underage Secretary). Photo: Michelle Crean

By Michelle Crean

A local soccer club is witnessing rapid expansion at such a pace that they’re in dire need of volunteers.
Killarney Athletic AFC Soccer Club is hoping to recruit coaches, managers, and volunteers to travel with teams, or even for those that feel they don’t have a sporty nature can help make tea and sandwiches on match days.
Child welfare courses and Garda vetting will be arranged, Chairperson Geraldine Nagle explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“Every team trains at least once a week. Any commitment volunteers could give, any bit of help at all would be great. Once you get in it, you’ll love it.”
The club, founded in 1965 by Garda Don Harrington, had massive success on Saturday at the DBS Sports Cup in Dublin at U12 level.

“They were the first club ever to win it at any age outside of Dublin,” she said.
“Killarney Athletic 1-0 V St Kevin’s Boys, what an achievement for these young Blues.”
The first underage Academy was set up in 1992 for children from U10 upwards.

The club organised the first ever FAI Soccer Clinic in Kerry in 1992, now known as Summer Soccer Camps, which was held in the hallowed grounds of the “Áras” pitch. Irish Internationals Paul McGrath and Mick McCarthy visited the ground at the time to add their support of the event.

“In 1993, we moved to Woodlawn where our wonderful and scenic grounds have continued to develop. Our modern clubhouse and two grass pitches have been augmented with the opening of an All-Weather training pitch in September 2018.”

The club are most proud to have produced six players who have been capped by Ireland and played at International level – two of whom subsequently signed professional contracts.
Michael Moloney became the first capped Schoolboy International Player from Kerry in 1990.
Bryan Murphy was the first club player to play in the League of Ireland and also played for the Irish Universities in the World Games in 1995.

Diarmuid O’Carroll was capped for the Irish U15s and signed for Glasgow Celtic in 2003.
Brendan Moloney was capped at underage level and signed for Nottingham Forest in 2005.
Michael ‘Smiler’ Moloney was capped on numerous occasions for Irish U15 and U16 teams in 2003/04.

And Ronan Murphy was also honoured with Irish Schoolboy International caps and was part of the Nottingham Forest academy for a year in 2010.

“We have enjoyed a lot of success over the years especially last season when competing in six Cup competitions and winning three of them in the U12 Cup and U12 Shield and U13 Cup. Our U13s and U14s also won their respective Leagues. Our U11 team reached the final of the Bernardo’s Cup.”

Killarney Athletic have an underage Academy catering for children from six years to 10 years with almost 100 children receiving coaching from qualified coaches, she added.
“There is also an U11 age grouping who receive coaching from qualified coaches and while not competing in a competitive league play games against other teams within the county on a bi-weekly basis.

“During the past season, we had eleven underage teams, including two girl’s teams, competing in the U12, U13, U14, U15 and U16 categories in the Kerry Schoolboys Girls League, in both League and Cup competitions.

“Girls soccer is one of the fastest growing sports in the country and we had teams competing in U12 and U16 league. Numbers continue to grow in this area.”
Killarney Athletic also cater for senior soccer and have teams in U17, Youths and two senior teams.

“With the opening of our all-weather pitch in September 2018, proving hugely beneficial to the club and its underage teams, it has also resulted in increased numbers participating and playing. The AWP has been fully booked out Monday to Friday from 5pm to 10pm for training purposes since its opening.

Our motto is “Unity is strength…. where there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved”.

Those who are interested can contact Killarney Athletic at the following numbers:
Geraldine Nagle on 087 6123512, Diarmuid O’Mahony on 087 2604562, Mike O’Shea on 087 2226185 and Martin Muldoon on 083 1229008.