THE  SEASON 1972/73



Looking back over the last twenty five years it is very evident that youth would greatly influence the progress and success of soccer. It was particularly obvious in 1971 when its very existence was threatened by the collapse of Island Albion. Those early challenge games between the different areas in the parish which led to the eventual formation of Island Albion would continue. With the numbers participating on the increase, St. Lappan's began to play their home fixtures on a field adjacent to St. Lappan's then owned by Mr. Northridge, Clash would play on the land of Lanes opposite Mrs. Foley's shop and Glounthaune would play at the water's edge in the village. The interest and enthusiasm shown in these games contributed to the belief of Martin O'Neill and Tony Dunlea, that potential for future soccer teams did exist.
By the beginning of the 1972-73 season, Little island Athletic were very organised. A field, the first of five used in the twenty five year history was secured with the help of Bill Cogan, who played with the Club. George O'Connor supplied the timber for goal posts and Tony Dunlea assembled them. A start was made on a dressing room that would not alone be used by players but also by cattle, who would eventually take over. What must rate as the most original idea for lining a soccer pitch was practiced for the first time by Little Island Athletic. Denis O'Callaghan would sit in the boot of a car with a bag of lime and empty same through a hole while the car, driven by its owner George O'Connor, travelled over the areas that needed to be lined. While visiting teams succeeded in making their way down Paddy Riordan's boreen, and arrive at the gate to witness this exercise, I wonder what was going through their minds!
A Junior and for the first time, a Youths team were registered with the A.U.L. Both were managed by Martin O'Neill and Tony Dunlea and were made up of local based players. The juniors benefiting from the experience of the Albion players would prove themselves worthy opponents, losing only one match in the Shield and that to eventual winners, Fermoy. In the League, things did not go as well but still managed to finish around mid table.


  P W D L F A Pts
Fermoy 5 4 0 1 13 12 8
Little Island Athletic 5 3 1 1 16 13 7
Killeagh United 5 3 1 2 14 12 5
Midleton 5 2 1 2 15 13 5
Corkbeg 5 2 1 2 11 17 5
East Stirlingshire 5 0 0 5 9 21 0

  P W D L F A Pts
St John Bosco's 9 5 4 0 19 9 14
Fermoy  9 6 0 3 18 10 12
Corkbeg 8 5 1 2 18 12 11
Glenhill United 8 4 3 1 19 16 11
Killeagh United 9 4 3 2 14 17 11
Mallow 9 3 3 3 8 12 9
Little Island Athletic 9 4 0 5 16 16 8
Brideview United 9 3 1 5 20 27 7
Midleton United 9 2 1 6 14 17 5
East Stirlingshire 9 0 0 9 3 12 0

The entry of a Youths team was a very significant step in the development of the game in the Parish. This team and future youths team would produce most of the players of the very successful Eighties and early Nineties teams. While they did not perform very well they had a number of very good players in, John Crowley - a very good Centre half; Ger Delea - a very good goal keeper with a great left foot capable of playing up front on the wing; and Ger Lambe - a never say die midfielder. John and Ger Delea had trials with the Cork Youths teams and Ger Lambe turned in some great performances with successful Leeside teams.
A Dinner Dance was held in the Hilltop Hotel where all enjoyed a great night and celebrated a new beginning for soccer in the Parish.

Donal O Connor,Ger Horgan & John Hayes attending the 1973 Dinner Dance, In the Hilltop Hotel Youghal.