Longford Town F.C.

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Longford Town
Longford Town F.C. crest
Full nameLongford Town Football Club
Nickname(s)Town or De Town
Founded1924
GroundBishopsgate, Longford,
County Longford
Capacity4,960 all seated
ChairmanJim Hanley
ManagerDaire Doyle
LeagueLeague of Ireland First Division
2019League of Ireland First Division, 3rd of 10
WebsiteClub website

Longford Town Football Club (Irish: Cumann Peile Bhaile Longfort) is an Irish football club playing in the League of Ireland First Division. The club, founded in 1924[1] and elected to the league in 1984,[1] is based in Longford, County Longford and play their home matches at Strokestown Road, which for sponsorship reasons is also known as Bishopsgate. Club colours are red and black, and the club goes by the nickname 'De Town'.

History[edit]

Longford Town Football Club was founded in 1924 at a meeting held in the Temperance Hall. At the meeting, it was decided that the club colours were to be those of the famous Dublin club, Bohemian, ‘Red and Black’. Present at the meeting were Michael (Ikey) Kelly, Paddy Farrell, Michael Hanley, Tom Malone, Johnny Foley, Willie Jarrett, Tom Kelly, Tom Colbert and Jim Mulligan.[1]

The Town had £24 in the kitty to start off and their first big success was winning the Leinster Junior Cup in the 1930-31 season when they beat St. Malachy’s of Dundalk at Longford Park. After the game, the Foresters Brass and Reed Band and Longford Pipe and Drum Band led the victory parade through the streets of the town. The Longford team included Tom O’Beirne, Packy Shine, Mel Deane, Jimmy Malynn, John Dennigan, Jimmy and Billy Clarke, Freddy Dykes and Jimmy Breslin. In the 1935-36 season, the Town were promoted to Division 1 of the Leinster Senior League. The following season saw the Town clinch the FAI Intermediate Cup which was a considerable achievement coming so soon after promotion from the Junior ranks. Further Intermediate Cup successes, as well as Metropolitan Cup wins, followed in the 1950s and 1960s.[1]

Longford Town reached the final of the Leinster Senior Cup in 1954, when they lost 2-1 to Shamrock Rovers, on St.Stephen’s Day. The Hoops, then at their peak, got the winning goal with less than three minutes to go. Longford's team on the day was: Peter Keogh, Seamus Devlin, Sonny Canning, Billy Murphy, Paddy Kinsella, Johnny Peelo, Paschal Quinn, Andy Reville, Paddy Gilbert, Gerry Malone and Joe O’Brien.[1]

Many Longford-born players received International or inter-league honours over the years. Mel Deane was the first, when he was capped against Scotland in a Junior International. Then followed Junior International honours versus England for Jimmy and Paddy Clarke, as well as Youth International caps for Ignatius Branigan (against Holland) and Teffia Park's Mark Devlin.[1]

The club was 60 years in existence before its election to the League of Ireland, in 1984. In their first season in the league they finished last in the Premier Division and were one of the four sides to be relegated to the newly created First Division for the following season.[1] In their second season they finished bottom of the First Division with only 7 points. Town finished in the bottom six of the ten-team First Division in each of the next eleven seasons.[1]

The appointment of the then 26-year-old rookie manager Stephen Kenny in the summer of 1998 proved the catalyst for a major upturn in the club's fortunes on the pitch. In the 1998/99 season, they missed out a place in the promotion/relegation play-off by four points. The following season saw further improvement when they finished 2nd in the First Division and, as a result, won promotion to the Premier Division. Longford performed admirably in their first season back in the Premier Division, finishing in mid-table. That season also saw the club reach the FAI Cup Final for the first time, where they lost 1–0 to Bohemian. As Bohemians also won the League title that season, Longford Town FC qualified to play in the UEFA Cup in July 2001. A meeting over two games with Bulgarian club side PFC Litex Lovech ended in a 3–1 aggregate victory for the Bulgarians.[1]

Things were less comfortable in the league during the 2001/02 season after that, as they ended up in the relegation/promotion play-off, where they played Finn Harps in a two-legged affair. Longford won in a penalty shootout after the tie ended 3–3 on aggregate. After the 2002/03 season, the club became an established top division side, led by manager Alan Mathews, with four successive top-six finishes.

On 26 October 2003, the Town clinched their first title in senior football when winning the FAI Cup, following a 2-0 victory over St. Patrick's Athletic at Lansdowne Road. The starting XI was: Stephen O'Brien, Alan Murphy, Barry Ferguson (captain), Brian McGovern, Seán Dillon, Alan Kirby, Vinny Perth, Philip Keogh, Sean Prunty, Shane Barrett and Sean Francis. Barrett and Francis found the net and victory more than made up for the disappointment of having lost the League Cup final, against the same opposition, two months previously.

2004 would prove to be the most successful year in the club's history. The Town produced a cup double by first winning the League Cup with a 2-1 victory over Bohemian in a final held in Longford, with the crucial second goal scored by local player Seán Prunty. The FAI Cup was retained following a dramatic 2-1 win over Waterford United at Lansdowne Road on 24 October 2004. Trailing with five minutes to go, late goals by Waterford-born Alan Kirby and sub Paul Keegan sent the 6,000 Longford fans into a frenzy. The starting XI was: Stephen O'Brien (captain), Alan Murphy, Graham Gartland, Seán Dillon, Sean Prunty, Dean Fitzgerald, John Martin, Alan Kirby, Shane Barrett, Dessie Baker and Eric Lavine.[1]

The FAI Cup successes saw the club enter the UEFA Cup in both 2004 and 2005. On both occasions, however, they lost in the first qualifying round on aggregate.[1]

The 2007 season was a disappointing one for the midlands club as, along with losing the FAI Cup Final to Cork City, the club were relegated after finishing bottom of the Premier Division. That does not tell the whole story however, as the club were deducted six league points during the season for failing to comply with club licensing procedures.[2] These six points proved crucial in the end, as without this deduction, they would have finished safe from relegation and the relegation play-off.[1]

This cost the club dearly, as there followed six frustrating years in the First Division, before being promoted as Champions at the end of the 2014 season. The title was clinched, under the management of Tony Cousins, following a resounding 5–0 victory at home to Shamrock Rovers B on 3 October 2014.[3] This league title triumph was the club's first-ever in senior football, with the trophy presented to club captain Mark Salmon. The goals of David O'Sullivan and Gary Shaw, along with the contribution of the experienced quartet of Pat Sullivan, Pat Flynn, Stephen Rice and Kevin O'Connor, were pivotal in the success.[1]

In their first season back in the Premier Division, de Town finished off the 2015 season in a creditable 6th position. The 2016 league season was very disappointing with Longford finishing bottom and relegated back to the First Division.[1]

European record[edit]

Last update: July 2005[4]

Overview[edit]

Competition Matches W D L GF GA
UEFA Cup
6
1
1
4
6
12
TOTAL
6
1
1
4
6
12

Matches[edit]

Season Competition Round Opponent Home Away Aggregate
2001–02 UEFA Cup 1QR Bulgaria Litex Lovech 1–1 0–2 1–3
2004–05 UEFA Cup 1QR Liechtenstein Vaduz 2–3 0–1 2–4
2005–06 UEFA Cup 1QR Wales Carmarthen Town 2–0 1–5 3–5

Current squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Republic of Ireland GK Lee Steacy
United States GK Luke Dennison
Republic of Ireland GK Uli Keller
Republic of Ireland DF Shane Elworthy
Republic of Ireland DF Michael McDonnell
Republic of Ireland DF Joe Manley
Republic of Ireland DF Karl Chambers
Republic of Ireland MF Dean Zambra (captain)
Republic of Ireland MF Adam Evans
No. Position Player
Republic of Ireland MF Sam Verdon
Republic of Ireland MF Aodh Dervin
Republic of Ireland MF Dean Byrne
Republic of Ireland MF Dylan Grimes
Republic of Ireland MF Jack Doherty
Republic of Ireland FW Rob Manley
Republic of Ireland FW James English
Republic of Ireland FW Aaron McCabe

Coaching and medical staff[edit]

Position Staff
Manager Daire Doyle
Assistant Manager John Martin
Goalkeeping Coach Gerard Mooney
Physiotherapist Albert Byrne
Masseur Willie Conlon
Kit Manager Ian Maher

2019 Fixtures / Results[edit]

Airtricity League First Division

Home Home Opposition Away Away
3-1 --- Athlone Town 1-0 5-1
2-0 1-2 Bray Wanderers 2-3 ---
0-1 --- Cabinteely FC 1-1 0-2
1-0 --- Cobh Ramblers 0-0 3-1
3-0 2-1 Drogheda United 1-0 ---
2-1 4-0 Galway United 1-2 ---
1-0 --- Limerick FC 0-0 1-3
2-0 0-2 Shelbourne 0-1 ---
1-0 --- Wexford FC 2-1 2-0

Longford Town score first in all cases

First Division Promotion Play-Off

Round Opponent Away Home Aggregate
Semi Final Cabinteely FC 0-0 1-1 AET 1-1 (1-3 pens)

FAI Cup

Round Date Opposition Venue Result
Second 23/8/2019 Bohemian FC Dalymount Park 1-1 AET (4-5 pens)
First 13/8/2019 Athlone Town City Calling Stadium 3-1

Longford Town score first in all cases

EA Sports Cup

Round Date Opposition Venue Result
Second 2/4/2019 Derry City Brandywell Stadium 0-3
First 5/3/2019 Cockhill Celtic City Calling Stadium 1-0

Longford Town score first in all cases

Leinster Senior Cup

Round Date Opposition Venue Result
Fourth 27/8/2019 North End United Ferrycarrig Park 1-5

Longford Town score first in all cases

2019 Goalscorers[edit]

Player FD FAI LC LSC TOTAL
Dean Byrne 12 0 0 0 12
Sam Verdon 8 0 0 0 8
Aaron Dobbs 5 2 0 0 7
Peter Hopkins 5 0 0 0 5
Adam Evans 2 0 1 0 3
Seán Boyd 2 0 0 0 2
Joe Manley 1 1 0 0 2
Jamie Doyle 1 0 0 0 1
Karl Chambers 1 0 0 0 1
Michael McDonnell 1 0 0 0 1
Dylan Grimes 1 0 0 0 1
Aodh Dervin 1 0 0 0 1
Anto Breslin 1 0 0 0 1
Jack Doherty 0 1 0 0 1
Bradley Okaidja 0 0 0 1 1
Own Goal 1 0 0 0 1
TOTAL 42 4 1 1 48

FD = First Division, FAI = FAI Cup, LC = League Cup, LSC = Leinster Senior Cup

Honours[edit]

Records[edit]

  • League victory: 7–1 v Athlone Town, 19 August 2017 and 6–0 v Shamrock Rovers F.C. B, 30 May 2014[1]
  • League defeat: 1–8 v Waterford United, 12 November 1989[1]
  • Points in a season: 70, 1999–00[1]
  • League goals in a season (player): 24, David O'Sullivan, 2013[1]
  • League goals: 69, David O'Sullivan, 2013–2017[1]
  • League appearances: 250, Stephen O'Brien, 1998–2005[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t "Longford Town Club Information". airtricityleague.ie. 9 February 2009. Archived from the original on 22 September 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
  2. ^ Longford deducted six points for licensing indiscretion, eleven-a-side.com, 2007. Retrieved 5 January 2008
  3. ^ "Longford Town claim First Division crown and promotion". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 8 October 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Longford –". UEFA. Retrieved 7 November 2016.

External links[edit]