A Championship

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A Championship
Country Republic of Ireland Ireland
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Founded 2008
Folded 2011
Number of teams 16
Levels on pyramid 3
Promotion to League of Ireland First Division
Domestic cup(s) FAI Cup
League cup(s) League of Ireland Cup
Last champions Derry City A
(2011)
Most championships UCD A (2)
Website AirtricityLeague.ie

The A Championship was the third tier in the Republic of Ireland football league system.[1][2] It was created in 2008 by the FAI to act as the first stop for clubs hoping to move into the League of Ireland, but cancelled at the end of the 2011 season. The title sponsor of the league from 2009 to 2011 was Newstalk.

History[edit]

The inaugural season was won by UCD A who beat Bohemians A 2-1 in the final, held in the UCD Bowl on 11 November 2008. Mervue United finished 3rd in Group 1 to enter a two-legged play-off with Kildare County for a spot in the 2009 League of Ireland. Mervue United won 5-2 on aggregate to win promotion to the First Division, with Kildare County being relegated.

Before the 2009 season, Newstalk were named as the title sponsors of the championship, now called the Newstalk A Championship.

Cobh Ramblers failed to obtain a First Division license and were therefore relegated to the A Championship at the beginning of the 2009 season. This gave Kildare County the opportunity to remain in the First Division. Shamrock Rovers A were the 2009 Newstalk A Championship champions defeating Salthill Devon 1-0 at Drom, Co. Galway on 31 October 2009. Salthill Devon were promoted after Kildare County were unable to fulfill the play-off fixture.

UCD A were the 2010 Newstalk A Championship champions defeating Bohemians A 2-1 at the UCD Bowl on 1 November 2010.

In 2011, Derry City A won the final A Championship, beating UCD A 3-2 in the final.

Previous seasons[edit]

Season Champions Group 1 Winner Group 2 Winner Promoted Cup Winner Top goalscorer Highest placed non-reserve team Team faced in Play-Off
2008 UCD A Bohemians A UCD A Mervue United Not played N/A Mervue United Kildare County
2009 Shamrock Rovers A Salthill Devon Shamrock Rovers A Salthill Devon Not played N/A Salthill Devon N/A
2010 UCD A Bohemians A UCD A None Sporting Fingal A N/A Cobh Ramblers Salthill Devon
2011 Derry City A Derry City A Bray Wanderers A Not played N/A FC Carlow

Format[edit]

The league was split into two regional groups, which were made up of reserve teams of all League of Ireland Premier Division and some First Division clubs, as well as first team clubs which received an A Championship license from the FAI. The clubs in the A Championship constantly changed due to promotion/relegation in the League of Ireland. The 2 group winners played off for the A Championship title. The highest placed first team club competed in a two-legged play-off against the bottom team in the First Division for the right to play in the First Division, provided they finished in the top 3 of their group.

Teams[edit]

The following teams competed during the four A Championship seasons:

Team 2008 season 2009 season 2010 season 2011 season
Bohemians A 1st (Group 1)
Losing finalist
2nd (Group 2) 1st (Group 1)
Losing finalist
5th (Group 1)
Bray Wanderers A 4th (Group 2) 3rd (Group 2) 8th (Group 2) 1st (Group 2)
Losing semi-finalist
Castlebar Celtic 4th (Group 1) 7th (Group 1)
Cobh Ramblers 9th (Group 2) 2nd (Group 2)
Not promoted after play-off
6th (Group 2)
Cobh Ramblers A 6th (Group 2)
Cork City A 2nd (Group 2) 6th (Group 2)
Derry City A 7th (Group 1) 5th (Group 1) 1st (Group 1)
Winner
Drogheda United A 4th (Group 1) 2nd (Group 1) 9th (Group 1) 6th (Group 1)
Dundalk A 7th (Group 1) 3rd (Group 1) 8th (Group 1)
Fanad United 4th (Group 1)
FC Carlow 8th (Group 2) 5th (Group 2) 4th (Group 2)
Finn Harps A 2nd (Group 1) 3rd (Group 1) 5th (Group 1) 7th (Group 1)
Galway United A 3rd (Group 2) 9th (Group 1) 9th (Group 2) 8th (Group 2)
Limerick A 7th (Group 2)
(as Limerick 37 A)
6th (Group 2) 7th (Group 2)
Mervue United 3rd (Group 1)
Promoted
St Patrick's Athletic A 5th (Group 2) 7th (Group 2) 3rd (Group 2) 3rd (Group 2)
Salthill Devon 8th (Group 1) 1st (Group 1)
Losing finalist, Promoted
Shamrock Rovers A 5th (Group 1) 1st (Group 2)
Winner
4th (Group 2) 2nd (Group 2)
Losing semi-finalist
Shelbourne A 6th (Group 1)
Sligo Rovers A 6th (Group 1) 8th (Group 1) 4th (Group 1) 3rd (Group 1)
Sporting Fingal A 4th (Group 2) 2nd (Group 1)
Tralee Dynamos 5th (Group 2) 7th (Group 2) 5th (Group 2)
Tullamore Town 8th (Group 2) 6th (Group 1) 8th (Group 1)
UCD A 1st (Group 2)
Winner
1st (Group 2)
Winner
2nd (Group 1)
Losing finalist

Cup[edit]

In 2010, a cup competition was also launched. The A Championship Cup was a pre-season competition for A Championship clubs. With the A Championship starting later than the League of Ireland, the A Championship Cup was a warm-up competition for the clubs involved. This was discontinued after just one season.

Stadiums[edit]

18 football stadiums have been used to host matches. Those marked in bold indicate teams playing in the 2010 season, while those in italics have been demolished.

Stadium Image Club Location Opened Closed Coordinates Ref(s)
01Cahermoneen Tralee Dynamos Tralee [year needed] 52°16′45″N 09°42′36″W / 52.27917°N 9.71000°W / 52.27917; -9.71000
02Carlisle Grounds Carlisle grounds Bray Wanderers1 Bray [year needed] 53°12′20.57″N 6°6′10.40″W / 53.2057139°N 6.1028889°W / 53.2057139; -6.1028889
03Celtic Park Castlebar Celtic Castlebar 1954 53°51′9″N 9°17′51″W / 53.85250°N 9.29750°W / 53.85250; -9.29750 (Celtic Park)
04Dalymount Park Bohemians1 Phibsboro, Dublin 1901 51°33′28″N 000°06′10″W / 51.55778°N 0.10278°W / 51.55778; -0.10278 (Arsenal Stadium)
05Finn Park Finn Harps1 Ballybofey [year needed] 54°47′51″N 7°46′39″W / 54.79750°N 7.77750°W / 54.79750; -7.77750 (Finn Park)
06Hunky Dorys Park Drogheda United1 Drogheda 1979 53°43′24.01″N 06°21′26″W / 53.7233361°N 6.35722°W / 53.7233361; -6.35722
07Jackman Park Limerick A1 Limerick 1970 52°39′28.01″N 08°37′20.19″W / 52.6577806°N 8.6222750°W / 52.6577806; -8.6222750
08Leah Victoria Park Tullamore Town Tullamore 2008 52°54′17″N 001°28′07″W / 52.90472°N 1.46861°W / 52.90472; -1.46861 (Baseball Ground)
09Morton Stadium Fingal's A Team stadium Sporting Fingal1 Santry, Dublin 1958 53°24′5.04″N 06°14′41.24″W / 53.4014000°N 6.2447889°W / 53.4014000; -6.2447889
10Oriel Park Dundalk's A Team stadium, Oriel Park Dundalk1 Dundalk 1919 53°59′56″N 6°25′0″W / 53.99889°N 6.41667°W / 53.99889; -6.41667 (Oriel Park)
11Richmond Park St Patrick's Athletic F.C.'s A Team stadium St Patrick's Athletic1 Dublin 1925 53°20′27.32″N 06°18′59.83″W / 53.3409222°N 6.3166194°W / 53.3409222; -6.3166194
12Showgrounds Showgies Sligo Rovers1 Sligo 1928 54°16′12.15″N 8°29′14.04″W / 54.2700417°N 8.4872333°W / 54.2700417; -8.4872333
13St Colman's Park Cobh Ramblers Cobh 1968 51°54′14.19″N 08°56′52.93″W / 51.9039417°N 8.9480361°W / 51.9039417; -8.9480361
14Tallaght Stadium Shamrock Rovers1 Dublin 2009 53°17′0.66″N 06°22′25.48″W / 53.2835167°N 6.3737444°W / 53.2835167; -6.3737444 (Tallaght Stadium)
15Terryland Park Galway United Galway 1977 53°17′04.77″N 09°03′22.53″W / 53.2846583°N 9.0562583°W / 53.2846583; -9.0562583 (Terryland Park)
16The Valley FC Carlow Tullow [year needed] 52°44′21.03″N 06°46′19.88″W / 52.7391750°N 6.7721889°W / 52.7391750; -6.7721889 (The Valley)
17Tolka Park Shelbourne1 Drumcondra 1950 53°22′03.05″N 06°15′07.14″W / 53.3675139°N 6.2519833°W / 53.3675139; -6.2519833
18UCD Bowl View of an evening match at UCD's football stadium UCD1 Dublin [year needed] 53°18′37.47″N 6°13′41.01″W / 53.3104083°N 6.2280583°W / 53.3104083; -6.2280583

1Clubs A Team

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]