Mayo Association Football League

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Mayo Association Football League
Country Republic of Ireland Ireland
Confederation UEFA
Founded 1954
Divisions Elverys Sports Super League
Welcome Inn Hotel Premier A
Welcome Inn Hotel Premier B
Welcome Inn Hotel League One
Westaro Masters League Division One
Westaro Masters League Division Two
Arcon Recruitment Mayo 7's
Level on pyramid 4
Domestic cup(s) FAI Junior Cup
Connacht Gold Cup
Connacht Gold Shield
Connacht Junior Cup
Connacht Junior Shield
Westaro Cup
Tuohy Cup
Tonra Cup
McDonnell Cup
Current champions Westport United
(2014)
Website Official website of Mayo AFL
2014-15 Mayo AFL

The Mayo Football League is an Irish amateur league for association football clubs in the Irish province of Connacht, drawing clubs from County Mayo. As the fourth position in the Irish football league system, it is the country's fourth football competition. It consists of two divisions: Super League and Premier Division. The divisions are sponsored by Elverys Sports and Welcome Inn Hotel respectively, therefore officially known as the Elverys Sports Super League and Welcome Inn Hotel Premier Division.

The winners of the competition do not gain promotion into any other tier of Irish football. But teams finishing ninth and tenth respectively in the Super League are relegated to the Premier Division.

In July 2014, the Mayo League released their mobile App, making them the first football organisation in Ireland to have their own App.

History[edit]

The group of men who came together in the autumn of 1953 to form the Mayo Association Football League, were responding to the need to provide organised football within the county. But the league was not taken seriously in the early days, and did not establish a firm footing of respectability and authority for many years. Joe McCormack, the founder chairman, said the Mayo League was always destined to experience troubles in its formative years. He explained: "Economically and socially, the fifties was a grim period in the country. It was extremely hard for clubs to function like they do today.

Clubs did not have enough money to operate properly. If they could not pay for transport to a match on a particular Sunday, they might be given a few day's credit. But if they did not come up with the money before the next away game, then the bus operator would not entertain them. "Money was also scarce for the purchase of jerseys, shorts, boots and so on. Even calling a meeting was not as easy as it sounded. So it was hardly surprising that one crisis followed another.

The most frustrating problem, he remembered, was the anti-Mayo League feeling which emanated from the clubs, even through the clubs themselves had been instrumental in setting up the league. If a decision by the league did not suit a particular club, then they rejected the league," he explained. The founding fathers of the Mayo League met in a room owned by Castlebar businessman Michael Heverin at Shamble Lane in the town. Michael Heverin, who was chairman of the local Urban Council at the time, was a strong supporter of the game. He had a long and active association with Castlebar Celtic and held the position of president of the Connaught Football Association during the fifties. There was an ulterior motive behind the initial move to set up the league. The county was being denied representation on the F.A.I.'s Senior and Junior Councils because there was no organised league in Mayo, and officials involved in the game believed the situation was no longer acceptable. Galway and Sligo had representation at F.A.I. level since the thirties, and the feeling abounded that the game in Mayo could only benefit from similar status.

Senior Castlebar Celtic officials Robert Kilkelly, a travel agent and merchant by profession, and Joe McCormack, a respected building contractor, decided it was time for change. They were not alone in their views. Hughie McGartland, who came to Castlebar from Omagh, Co. Tyrone, in 1926, had long been campaigning, in his capacity as secretary of Castlebar Celtic, to have the game properly structured in the county. Hughie came to town to work in Hack Walsh's Barber Shop in Castle Street, where Ivy House now stands. He subsequently opened up his own gents hairdressing business in a different premises halfway down the street. At the annual general meeting of Celtic on March 8, 1953, he renewed his call for moves to be taken to set up a properly run league in the county for the first time. Speaking at the Celtic clubrooms in Market Square, he said: In Mayo we are handicapped by the lack of local competition like Galway and Sligo clubs have. But now that teams from Achill and Swinford have affiliated, the time has arrived for the formation of a Mayo League as competition is the lifeblood of any sport.

The inaugural meeting of the Mayo League was attended by Joe McCormack, Robert Kilkelly, Hughie McGartland, Chas. Guthrie, Tommy Ketterick, Andy Leonard, Paddy Gilligan, all of whom were members of Castlebar Celtic; John McGreal, John Staunton, and Brod Malone of Westport United; and Benny McAleer and John Foy of Quay Hearts. Joe McCormack accepted the position of chairman and Robert Kilkelly was appointed secretary. It took the league three years to win representation on the F.A.I. Senior Council, and it was Joe McCormack who achieved the distinction of being the first Mayo official to serve on the authority. He served as a member of the F.A.I. Senior Council for nine years, from 1957 to 1966. The initiative of the founder members in establishing a ruling soccer body in Mayo for the first time was singularly responsibly for the huge growth in the game that materialised in the seventies, eighties and nineties. Six clubs were operating in Mayo in 1953. They were Westport Town, Castlebar Celtic, Westport United, Quay Hearts, Dooniver Swifts of Achill, and Swinford. Westport Town was the oldest club in the county, having been formed in 1910. It is accepted, however, that the first soccer club in Westport had been set up some time earlier, in 1889.

Castlebar Celtic came into operation in 1928, but a soccer team had been existence in the town for a number of years before that. Swinford got their first taste of football in the Castlebar Junior Leagues in the early fifties, while Quay Hearts emerged during the thirties as a local league side in Westport. Dooniver Swifts had been set up during the forties, and Westport United was established in 1952. By the time the Mayo League first kicked off on Sunday, April 11, 1954, Barcastle, representing Castlebar Bacon Factory, had also been formed.

The Mayo Football Partnership[edit]

Since 25 June 2010, it is the Mayo County Council is now possible, actionable data on football online to make available, the Mayo Football Partnership involves all football bodies in Mayo - Mayo Junior Football, Mayo Youths, Schoolboys / Schoolgirls, Mayo Ladies, coaching, referees, and The Mayo Sports Partnership. This impression is probably not only the fans, including by FIFA to have been impressed.[1]

Elverys Sports Super League[edit]

Members for 2015:

  • Ballina Town
  • Ballyglass (Promoted from Premier A as runners-up)
  • Ballyheane
  • Castlebar Celtic
  • Charlestown Athletic
  • Conn Rangers (Promoted from Premier A as Champions)
  • Iorras Aontaithe
  • Manulla FC
  • Straide and Foxford United
  • Westport United (Current League Champions)

Previous Champions[edit]

YEAR CHAMPIONS RUNNERS UP

1954 Castlebar Celtic Quay Hearts And Barcastle

1954/55 Quay Hearts Unknown

1955/56 League not completed

1956/57 No competition

1957/58 Castlebar Celtic Westport United

1958/59 Castlebar Celtic Quay Hearts

1959/60 Castlebar Celtic Westport United

1960/61 Castlebar Celtic Westport United

1961/62 Castlebar Celtic Quay Hearts

1962/63 Westport United Castlebar Celtic

1963/64 Westport United Castlebar Celtic

1964/65 Westport United Castlebar Celtic

1965/66 Westport United Castlebar Celtic

1966/67 Westport United Ballina Town

1967/68 Castlebar Celtic A Castlebar Celtic B

1968/69 Westport United Castlebar Celtic

1969/70 Westport United Ballinrobe Town

1970/71 S.C.* Westport Westport United

1971/72 S.C.* Westport Castlebar Celtic

1972/73 League Championship Not Completed

1973/74 Westport United Ballina Town

1974/75 Westport United Ballina Town

1975/76 Westport United Ballyhaunis and Ballina Town

1976/77 Balla FC Castlebar Celtic

1977/78 Balla FC Castlebar Celtic

1978/79 Castlebar Celtic Westport Textiles

1979/80 Westport Crusaders Shraigh United

1980/81 Castlebar Celtic Westport United

1981/82 Westport United Castlebar Celtic

1982/83 Castlebar Celtic Westport United

1983/84 Castlebar Celtic Balla FC

1984/85 Castlebar Celtic Manulla FC

1985/86 Castlebar Celtic Ballina Town

1986/87 Castlebar Celtic Westport United

1987/88 Manulla FC Ballina Town

1988/89 Ballina Town Urlaur FC

1989/90 Urlaur FC Straide And Foxford United

1990/91 Ballyglass FC Castlebar United

1991/92 Urlaur FC Straide And Foxford United

1992/93 Straide And Foxford United Swinford FC

1993/94 Straide And Foxford United Iorras Aontaithe

1994 Manulla FC Castlebar United (Summer Football)

1995 Manulla FC Iorras Aontaithe

1996 Ballyglass FC Urlaur FC

1997 Ballyglass FC Achill Rovers

1998 Achill Rovers Ballyheane FC

1999 Manulla FC Ballyglass FC

2000 Straide And Foxford United Manulla FC

2001 Castlebar Celtic Ballyglass FC

2002 Westport United Straide And Foxford United

2003 Iorras Aontaithe Castlebar Celtic

2004 Westport United Castlebar Celtic

2005 Westport United Iorras Aontaithe

2006 Castlebar Celtic Iorras Aontaithe

2007 Westport United Ballina Town

2008 Westport United Ballina Town

2009 Ballina Town Westport United

2010 Ballina Town Westport United

2011 Castlebar Celtic Westport United

2012 Westport United

2013 Ballina Town Ballyheane

2014 Westport United Castlebar Celtic

Welcome Inn Hotel Divisions[edit]

Clubs:

  • Achill Rovers
  • Ballinrobe Town
  • Ballyhaunis Town
  • Bangor Hibs
  • Castlebar Celtic B
  • Claremorris FC
  • Conn Rangers B
  • Crossmolina FC
  • Fahy Rovers
  • Glenhest Rovers
  • Killala
  • Kiltimagh Knock United
  • Manulla B
  • Moy Villa
  • Mulranny United
  • Newport Town
  • Partry Athletic
  • Snugboro United
  • Swinford
  • Urlaur United
  • Westport United B

Previous and defunct clubs[edit]

  • Achill Eagles
  • Achill United
  • Ashleam FC
  • Balla FC
  • Ballina Broadhaven Rovers
  • Cross Celtic
  • Dooega FC
  • Dooniver Swifts
  • Ennischrone FC
  • Garrafauns FC
  • Lacken United
  • Mountgable Celtic
  • Moy Hearts
  • Shraigh FC
  • Shrule FC
  • Parkside Celtic
  • Quay Hearts
  • Roundfort FC
  • Road Rangers FC
  • Westport Crusaders
  • Western Harps FC
  • Westport Sporting Club
  • Westport Town
  • Westport Textiles

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FIFA bosses impressed with Mayo soccer project". MayoToday. 2010-07-25. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 

External links[edit]