Kildare County F.C.

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Kildare County F.C.
Kildare County FC crest
Full nameKildare County Football Club
Nickname(s)The Thoroughbreds
GroundStation Road
LeagueLeague of Ireland First Division
League of Ireland U21 Division

Kildare County F.C. (Irish: Cumann Peile Chontae Chill Dara) was an Irish association football club based in Newbridge, County Kildare. Between 2002–03 and 2009 they played in the League of Ireland First Division. During this time they also entered a team in the League of Ireland U21 Division.



Kildare County was formed in 2002 by members of Newbridge Town F.C. in order to enter a team in the League of Ireland First Division. After St Francis withdrew from the First Division just two weeks before the start of the 2001–02 season, the League of Ireland began to look for a replacement club for 2002–03. Twelve clubs, including Newbridge Town, were approached to see if they were interested in joining the First Division. Members of Newbridge Town subsequently decided to form Kildare County as a separate legal entity and applied to join the First Division. The name Kildare County was chosen in an attempt to attract potential sponsors, players and supporters from throughout County Kildare. In February 2002 it was announced that Kildare County would be offered the First Division place ahead of Mullingar Town.[1][2][3][4][5]

Early seasons[edit]

In March 2002 Kildare County appointed Dermot Keely as their first manager and John Gill as his assistant.[6] On 15 June 2002 the club made their official debut in a friendly against Bray Wanderers. The game finished 2–2 with Keith O'Connor and Alan Kelly becoming the first and second players to score for County.[7][8] On 6 July 2002 Kildare County made their competitive debut against Limerick at Station Road in a First Division Cup game. Philip Gorman and Shey Zellor scored for County as they won 2–0.[9][10] On 24 August County made their League of Ireland First Division debut at Station Road again against Limerick. This time they lost 3–1 with Philip Gorman scoring the club's first league goal.[11][12][13] Dermot Keely remained in charge of County for the 2002–03 season, guiding them to fifth place. In July 2003, midway through the 2003 season, Keely resigned as County manager in order to take charge of Derry City.[14][13][15] During their first three seasons in the League of Ireland First Division, Kildare County challenged for promotion to the League of Ireland Premier Division and on each occasion finished just outside the qualifying places for the promotion play-offs.[15][16] In the 2002–03 First Division Cup they won their regional group and finished as overall runners up, losing 4–0 on aggregate in the final to Finn Harps.[10] They were also quarter-finalists in both the 2003 and 2004 FAI Cups.[13][17][18]


Between 2005 and 2009, Kildare County finished in the bottom half of League of Ireland First Division table every season. In 2008 Kildare County finished bottom of the table and were initially relegated to the A Championship after losing the promotion/relegation play-off to Mervue United. However they subsequently gained a reprieve after Cobh Ramblers were refused a First Division license and were relegated directly from the 2008 Premier Division to the A Championship.[15][16][19][20] In 2009 Kildare County again finished bottom of the table and they subsequently withdrew from the league.[21] The last fixture the club played was against Shelbourne on Saturday, 7 November 2009. In the week before the game the entire club board and the team manager Joe Somerville resigned, leaving the club's players unpaid. The players were owed a total of €21,650 and as a result were reluctant to take to the pitch. However Stephen McGuinness, the general secretary of the PFAI, persuaded the players to participate in the game. Meanwhile, fans had to run the ticket sales and canteen. County lost 5–1 and after fulfilling this last game, it was officially over. County were due to play Salthill Devon in a promotion/relegation play-off but as a result of their resignation this did not happen and Salthill Devon subsequently replaced Kildare County in the 2010 First Division.[22][5]

U21 Division[edit]

In addition to playing in the League of Ireland First Division, Kildare County also entered a team in the League of Ireland U21 Division.[23] In 2006, with a team managed by Thomas Donnelly, they reached the Enda McGuill Cup final, losing 1–0 to Cork City in the final.[24]

League placings[edit]

Season Points Total Position
2002–03 33 5th
2003 55 5th
2004 62 4th
2005 41 8th
2006 43 7th
2007 39 7th
2008 26 10th
2009 15 12th


Notable players[edit]

League of Ireland XI representative
Republic of Ireland U23 internationals
Republic of Ireland U21 internationals
Republic of Ireland U18 internationals
  • Republic of Ireland Lorcan Cronin
Republic of Ireland U17 internationals
Top goalscorer
  • Republic of Ireland Philip Gorman (27) [11]
Most appearances


Seasons Manager
2002–2003 Flag of Ireland.svg Dermot Keely
2003 Flag of Ireland.svg Eric Hannigan
2004–2008 Flag of Ireland.svg John Ryan
2008 Flag of Ireland.svg Tony Cousins
2009 Flag of Ireland.svg Thomas Donnelly
2009 Flag of Ireland.svg Joe Somerville





  1. ^ "Club History – The Story of Newbridge Town F.C." Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  2. ^ "Kildare County named as new eircom League club". 21 February 2002. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  3. ^ "Kildare County Football Club to be invited to join the eircom League". 21 February 2002. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  4. ^ "Kildare win place in soccer's ranks". 22 February 2002. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  5. ^ a b "The graveyard of the Irish football". thepathslesstravelled. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  6. ^ "Keely bounces back to take Kildare reins". 29 March 2002. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  7. ^ "Keely's Kildare County host Bray in friendly". 12 June 2002. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  8. ^ "Kildare County off to good start". 16 June 2002. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  9. ^ "Kildare make impressive start to campaign". 6 July 2002. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  10. ^ a b c "Ireland Cups 2002/03". Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  11. ^ a b "Philly Gorman: 100 and counting – Kildare soccer legend hits the ton". 10 August 2016. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  12. ^ "Kildare face Limerick on Saturday". 18 August 2002. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  13. ^ a b c Graham, Alex. Football in the Republic of Ireland a Statistical Record 1921–2005. Soccer Books Limited. ISBN 1-86223-135-4.
  14. ^ "Keely unveiled as Candystripes boss". 21 July 2003. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  15. ^ a b c d "(Republic of) Ireland League Tables - Second Level". Archived from the original on 3 June 2009. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  16. ^ a b "What Happens (To) Teams That Enter The League Of Ireland First Division?". 20 February 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  17. ^ "Ireland Cups 2003". Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  18. ^ "Ireland 2004". Retrieved 16 July 2016.
  19. ^ a b "Ireland 2007". Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  20. ^ a b "Ireland 2008". Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  21. ^ a b "Ireland 2009". Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  22. ^ "More bad news for FAI as Kildare County fold". 9 November 2009. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  23. ^ "Kildare U-21's record first ever victory of eircom". 18 August 2002. Retrieved 10 December 2016.
  24. ^ a b "List of Winners". 17 November 2009. Retrieved 16 September 2016.

External links[edit]