In the summer of 2001 in the fields of Tiermaclane, Timmy Healy (The same Healy family that the county ground is named for) and Leonard Meaney established Fern Celtic.
A brand new Schoolboys football club with just two teams at U11 and U16. Three of the players in those two teams were Declan Meaney, Liam Meaney and Mark Healy. Over the next number 20 years the club continued to grow with girls and boys teams lining out from U6 all the way to U16 with numerous successes. But up to now , no opportunity existed to progress into adult football.
History will be made on Saturday night as Declan (captain), Mark and Liam play, twenty years on, in the first ever Fern Celtic Junior Men’s team. Fern Celtic FC will host Bunratty Cratloe FC in what is sure to be a highly contested friendly match, a game that opens Fern Celtic FC’s twenty-year anniversary celebrations.
Some members of the original board from 2001 are still actively involved in all aspects of the club. They watched the three players who originally joined the club 20 years ago as children progress on to play for other clubs; two have played in the Clare premiership and one even for a professional club in Galway. These long standing club board members will never be prouder as to see their prodigies return to don the Fern Celtic FC jersey and play with pride for their home team at adult level ,as the club will begin adult life in Division 3 of Clare soccer.
Club Chairman Ciaran Collins said ‘it’s a great achievement for the club and is a testament of the hard work and commitment that has gone on for the last 20 years. We now have both Underage and Junior team setup, for male and female players, and our players are able to stay with the one club if they wish from U6 up until they decide to stop playing, and hopefully begin to start coaching.’
Club Manager Richard Cahill also commented: ‘It is a pleasure to work with a bunch of really decent lads, most of whom are fulfilling their ambition to play for the club they started out with. They are really enjoying coming home and collectively embracing the opportunity to create a road for advancement for the up-coming teenagers. And those teenagers are a credit to Fern Celtic’s underage coaching. There are exciting times ahead.’
As part of the celebrations on Saturday, the club’s new sponsor, Madrassori Doggy Day Care Centre, owned by Sile Lynch, will present the team with their first set of jerseys.