Jimmy McHugh, an Oliver Bond inspiration

“His work ethic and training is second to none, he always puts his body on the line.”

These are the words that Oliver Bond Celtic chairman and manager, Eddie Keogh, uses to describe his star player and club captain, Jimmy McHugh.

Jimmy McHugh (left) and Jordan Buckley (right). Photo: Eamon Scott (Strikeronline)

Ireland amateur international striker Jimmy McHugh was born and raised in the Oliver Bond flats. His career is showing kids that there are better paths to go down.

Keogh started Oliver Bond Celtic FC, who play in the Leinster Super League (LSL) six years ago, “Jimmy signed for us in 2017 in our second season, and we won two trebles back-to-back”.

In his first season with the club, McHugh scored an outstanding 81 goals, and has over 200 goals in total, over the five seasons he has spent with them.

There’s no secret to scoring according to McHugh, “It’s just having great teammates around me that can put me into good situations, then having the composure to take them chances.”

With his goal record, it’s no surprise that McHugh got called up to the Ireland amateur squad, who are competing in the UEFA Regions Cup in Spain this summer.

A tweet from Oliver Bond Celtic. Eddie Keogh (left) and Jimmy McHugh (right)

“He first got called up to the AUL (The Athletic Union League) team. He was the lowest-ranked player to get the call, as we were in the Division 2 Saturday league”, Keogh said.

“When we went into the Leinster Super League, he was called up to the LSL team, he kept scoring and building his profile, and he then got the call up into the Irish set-up.”

“It was well deserved with the goals he was getting. It proved hard work can get you anywhere,” Keogh said.

McHugh was delighted when he heard the news, “I was over the moon, one of the proudest moments of my life”, he said.

“It proved hard work can get you anywhere”

As you would expect, McHugh has become a big inspiration to kids from the Oliver Bonds area of which he is very proud, “It’s something that means a lot to me especially seeing all the young lads in the flats and on the schoolboy teams in the club looking up to me, it’s great!”

McHugh’s success has got a lot of young players involved in Oliver Bond Celtic FC, “The first year we set up the kid’s teams, a lot of the kids were playing with clubs outside the area, now we are seeing a lot of kids come back into the club”, Keogh said.

“You don’t have to be at these other clubs to get noticed- we now have an academy for 4- to 8-year-olds- that’s the way it should be, get them young, keep them at it and keep them out of trouble”, he said.

Football isn’t the only passion McHugh has, he also has a carpentry business along with childhood friend and fellow talented footballer, Jordan Buckley. Buckley plays for another local club, Usher Celtic FC and also got the call-up to the Ireland amateur squad.

McHugh and Buckley set up JBK Carpentry which specialises in extensions and renovations and is the sponsor of both their clubs.

“Myself and Bucko have been best mates since we were babies, we started our apprenticeship with the same company and have worked with each other over the past 10 years. When we got the opportunity, we just took it and went out on our own, it’s going really well at the minute”, McHugh said.

A tweet from Oliver Bond Celtic. Jordan Buckley (left) and Jimmy McHugh (right)

Oliver Bond Celtic means a lot to the local area as it has a lot of benefits for the community. “Oliver Bond is massive in our community over the last couple of years, it’s been great seeing it bring the whole community together by coming up and supporting us,” McHugh said.

“It’s huge, it’s put a bright spark over the area over the last few years,” Keogh said.

Oliver Bond Celtic is going through a bit of a rough patch at the moment, since their move up from the junior league to the intermediate league.

“We’ve lost a lot of players this year, we went up to intermediate – it didn’t work out and a few players jumped ship,” Keogh said.

Many of the players leaving are doing so out of frustration, as the club has next to no facilities.

“We have absolutely nothing, we haven’t got training facilities, and we haven’t got a ground. We don’t know where we’re training week in, week out, and we are where we are in only five years,” Keogh explained.

Despite their lack of facilities, there is certainly no lack of supporters wanting to go and watch.

“We played Pike Rovers in Richmond Park last year with 3,000 supporters, and the FAI actually called me to ask me how we done it.

“That’s us in five years without help. Imagine if you gave us help, what we can do,” Keogh said.

“We only get one grant a year of €500 from Dublin City Council. For us to play one game a week it would cost about that.”

Before Oliver Bond Celtic went up to intermediate, they had an outstanding record only losing six games in the league in five years.

“That’s us in five years without help, imagine if you gave us help what we can do”

– Oliver Bond Celtic Chairman and Manager, Eddie Keogh

Despite the difficult period, McHugh has remained loyal to his club, “Jimmy stayed around when the going got tough. He’s been a rock for us over the last five years”, Keogh said.

“I have a lot of respect for him as a man, as a friend, and as a player.”

The Ireland amateur team will compete in the Regions Cup this summer in Spain, under manager Gerry Davis. McHugh feels they have just as good a chance of any other side.

“I believe we have a great chance of winning it, there is some serious talent in the squad, but the blueprint that Gerry and the coaches have drilled into us is unreal, and once we stick to that we will be a hard team to beat.”

Regions Cup 2023 fixtures

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