“TO keep the club running year after year is the main focus while any silverware along the way is a bonus.”
This is the mindset of the many great people involved with Blarney Street Athletic and recently I caught up with secretary David Cronin who was full of praise for the many volunteers and players involved with the beloved north side club.
“It’s a fantastic club to be part of because there are fantastic people involved who love the beautiful game,” said Cronin.
"The club wouldn’t be here half as long as it was without Vincey. He really gave everything for Blarney Street from taking time off work to missing family time at home and financially paying for club stuff out of his own pocket.
"Add to that the likes of Derek Power who was a great manager along with Danny Quinlan, both gave huge time and effort to the club and were very successful in their own right. Eddie Kenny as a player and committee member always had the club's interest at heart and in my time at the club, it was them four that probably kept the club afloat. Although none of them are involved anymore, any time the club is mentioned their names will come up in any conversation.”
Cronin is the current secretary but also slots between the posts when needed and here he tells us his story of his involvement with the club for the past decade.
“I joined the club in 2009 from Bohemians. I’m currently the secretary of the club and also give a hand playing on goal when needed. I came as a player when Derek Power and Danny Quinlan were running the team and the late great Vincey Thompson was the chairman.
“We currently have one team playing in the second division of the AUL however when I first joined we were a premier side and there were some great players there. Great Servants such as Eddie Kenny, JP Thompson, John Betts, Laurence Betts, Gary Coughlan, Alan Conroy, Anthony 'Babsy' Peelo are just a few names that gave a massive commitment to Blarney Street and came up through the leagues to get the club up playing premier football.
“We competed for a couple of years and most would agree we underachieved in the Premier League. When Derek Power left for work and family commitments Eddie Kenny took over for a year or so and again we were a decent side and should have done better.
“Paul Corcoran took us over and we won the AOH Cup which is a huge trophy to win in Cork. We beat Kilreen in the final on penalties and most of the north side celebrated the win with us for three or four days in the Josh on Blarney Street. A great memory.
“We are all looking forward to creating more memories with this great club.”
Blarney Street have produced some great players down through the years. Stalwarts such as Eddie Kenny, Gary Coughlan. Anthony Peelo and John Betts are to name a few. With their current squad, Cronin believes there will be many more in years to come to add to that list.
"Hopefully, when all this is said and done we can pick up where we left off and continue the good run of results we were on. Derek Daniels is our manager and before Covid hit the likes of Victor Mylod, John Sull, Gareth Cambridge were all flying for us.
“Most of our squad are local lads. The likes of myself, Babsy, Trevor Hallisey, Colin Keane, Paul Connolly, George Kenny, Anthony Magee all won the AOH with the club in 2014. After that, we played a season or two and sadly the club folded.
"After a couple of years out Vincey Thompson had the wheels in motion and he contacted various players in an attempt to get the club back again and at the time of his very sad untimely death two years ago he would have succeeded. After the passing of Vincey, his nephew approached myself and now manager Derek Daniels to see could we follow through with what Vincey started and get the club back which we succeeded.
“Derek signed the likes of Alan King and both Cambridge brothers Gareth and Mark, Victor Mylod, John Sull, Mickey Bullman who all played senior football so to add them to the players we had no matter what league they put us into we felt we would be competitive."
Like all great clubs, it’s people working behind the scenes that are responsible for everything good that happens on and off the pitch.
“We have a great committee in place with 12 or 13 members on it and again the likes of Alan Daniels, Paul Connolly and Eoin Cremin, ex-players were more than happy to get back involved with the club. Without their dedication and the support of our great sponsors, the club couldn’t possibly keep going.
“Bill Creagh in the Joshua tree has been one of our sponsors for a long time now and always looked after us when we needed him. Our main sponsor has always been Anthony Coughlan of C and S Construction and we can honestly say without Anthony’s help we would not have been able to get the club back.
“As a club, we want to make our way through the leagues and if we get the club surviving year after year we will be delighted. If we pick up a few trophies along the way then well and good we will take that as well."