The worst secret in Irish football is now a reality. Cabinteely FC are now a League of Ireland club. Rumours have been circulating that the south Dublin club would be the First Division's eight club for a couple of weeks now. It must be said the response to those rumours has not exactly been resoundingly positive.
However, Fran Gavin, FAI Competitions Director, has today confirmed that Cabinteely have been granted a licence to compete in the upcoming season.
I would like to welcome Cabinteely FC into the SSE Airtricity League. We have been involved in discussions with the club in recent months. They have good structures in place and good foundations on which to build a First Division side that can compete nationally.
Much of the discussion around Cabinteely's entrance has been on the assumption that there were very few, if any, alternatives. However, Gavin has suggested that Cabinteely were one of a number of clubs to 'express an interest' in joining the league.
They were accepted as a member of the SSE Airtricity League following receipt of a number of expressions of interest and subsequent discussions. Cabinteely will be filling the position left vacant by Shamrock Rovers and are set to join Athlone Town, Cobh Ramblers, Finn Harps Shelbourne, UCD, Waterford United and Wexford Youths in the 2015 SSE Airtricity League First Division.
As expected, Cabinteely will play their home games at Blackrock RFC's ground in Stradbrook. Pearse Toale, a spokesperson for Cabinteely FC has said that the club are looking forward to building upon the strong youth set-up that the club has developed and progressing into senior football.
Cabinteely FC are delighted to become a new member of the SSE Airtricity League. We believe this to be a natural progression for the club and builds on the very strong foundation of our under-age structures and provides a pathway for our players to the SSE Airtricity League.
We look forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead with great enthusiasm and commitment. We would like to thank Blackrock College RFC for their help in making this possible.
The 2015 SSE AIrtricity League First Division fixtures will be released at 2pm tomorrow.
You can read our guide to Cabinteely here!