The Local Football Club – “it’s passion for the game.”

The Local Football Club was set up in May 2021 during the Covid-19 Lockdown, starting strong as they won the league. This year, there’s no slowing down.

A few years ago, the members who set up the Local FC had another team called Smithfield FC which broke up. Speaking at one of their matches in Rockfield Park in Blackrock, Ryan O’ Neill, secretary of the Local FC spoke about why they decided to start the team up again, “So we were actually drinking out one of the player’s [back garden’s], Wayne’s, we were all sitting out the back there, just bleedin’ all talking about it like getting it set back up, we were talking about it for years like… the week after we eventually got it going and onto the league, once we got it on the league we got plays and enough training then it just went on from there.”

The Local FC after they won the league in June.

O’ Neill emphasised their play in the last league as many players suffered injuries saying, “we did well in the season and won a few cups as well, obviously because we did so well in the cups we started playing a lot of mid-week games and that affected us a lot because we had a lot of injuries as well with players coming during the end of the season, so the league ending was a close one, where we didn’t know if we walking away with it or not, but eventually we got it.”

After a great season last year, the team gained more respect and recognition and expanded this year, “after a good season we had a lot more players that came up this year, over 50 players, so we have a second team now. So hopefully we can just build on it so we can keep getting teams winning things and just keeping all the lads together, we’re mates,” said O’Neill.

The team played in Rockfield Park on October 8th against Booterstown United, losing 5-3. It was a dramatic match with seven yellow cards and one red card handed out between the two teams by referee Paul Hutchinson, who was assigned to the match by the United Churches Football League. With accusations of unfairness kicked around the field, Hutchinson said “you have to have a neck like a turkey’s bollix at these games.”

Most of the players are from the Smithfield area, growing up in and around the area. Kane Harris who scored 58 goals for the team last season, spoke about the importance of representation for a team like the Local FC, “ we’ve no backing, like Ryan’s our club secretary [he] was never involved other than playing before, so then it comes from trying to start-up and trying to get the grips of how to deal with the league from our point of view as young men… like we don’t have like a mad committee in the background that sorts us all out and funds us with gear or anything like we have to go out looking for that and our own sponsors around the area, we go out and try find all our own players which is all the young fellas from around the flats like Queen Street or the Smithfield area or Cabra or anywhere around kinda Dublin 7…”

The Local FC after they won the David blood cup at the start of this season.

Not letting “unfairness” or a lack of resources stop them from playing to their full potential Harris continued saying, “We have 50 players coming around and it’s all young fellas from the flats, most of the time young fellas from the flats end up winding up in trouble or anything like that. So to start the team up is mainly to keep everyone out of trouble and keep everybody together so we’re not all breaking up and it’s working out fine so far even though we moan… it’s passion for the game.”

Harris finished the interview answering how far he thought the Local FC could go, “I feel like we can go as far as we want, once we want to do it ye know what I mean? That’s the way it is… the only way the football team is gonna stay around is if you have a passion for wanting to play football and wanting to help your friends. I think we have that anyways, we’re only starting our second year as well so, I think we can do very well.”

The Local FC are gunning for the trophy again as they continue their participation in the UCFL in Division 2.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *