History 1971 – 2000
College Corinthians AFC is currently one of the most successful and progressive soccer clubs in Munster. Initially set up to provide a club for U.C.C. graduates, Corinthians has expanded rapidly over the years and now caters for seven adult teams as well as over five hundred schoolboys. Based in the Castletreasure area of Douglas, Corinthians aim is to foster soccer in the Cork area by providing quality facilities and encouraging more people to play football……
College Corinthians AFC was founded by graduates of U.C.C. in 1971. Having played football for U.C.C. AFC during their University years, players wished to maintain their involvement in football and initially a social team was formed. However based on interest shown, it was decided to apply for membership of the Munster Senior League. The application was accepted and in August 1971 College Corinthians played its first competitive match in the Munster Senior League against Wembley and has been a constant member of the league ever since. The team was managed by Tom O’Leary and with the kind permission of U.C.C., home games were played in the grounds of University College Cork at the Farm Sports Grounds, Curraheen Road, Cork.
While results were mixed in the early years Corinthians were always well respected by their opponents and on their day were capable of beating anybody. Players like Jimmy Murphy, Dave O’Donovan, Derry O’Driscoll would have graced any team in the Munster Senior League, but above all, those early pioneers laid the foundation for the success that the Club has enjoyed in later years.
Membership and interest in the Club continued to grow during the seventies resulting in the formation of a Junior team in 1978. The team which was managed by John Roche played in the Third Division of the Cork AUL.
The Senior teams results improved gradually through the late seventies and early eighties under the management of people like Noel and Pat O’Mahony, Terry Delaney and Denis Carey. However in the summer of 1983, Club Chairman Dave Ronayne appointed John O’Donovan as Senior team manager. It was an appointment that changed the course and direction of the Club. He introduced a sense of belief, character, commitment and a level of preparation that had never been seen in a Corinthians senior team before. Of course there were setbacks, but these were quickly overcome. John O’Donovan had introduced an element of stability to the Club, which is there to this very day. Incredibly since John’s appointment in 1983, the Corinthians senior team has been managed by only three people, John O’ Donovan (1983 – 1986, !989 – 1992), Brendan Manley (1986 – 1989) and Fergus McDaid (1992 – 2000), all three of whom needless to say have made an enormous contribution to the Club.If there was a season which mirrored the progress the Club was making , it was undoubtedly 1984/85, firstly a second Junior team "Corinthians Athletic " was formed under the management of Declan Farmer and Martin McTiernan and entered in the Third Division of the Cork AUL. Secondly and crucially the Corinthians First Junior side under the management of Jim Callinan captured the AUL Division Three title, the first silverware ever won by a Corinthians side and thirdly the Corinthians Senior team finished fourth in the Munster Senior League. New standards had now been set and a marker had been laid down for the future.
The following season the First Juniors, now under the management of Dan Murphy, were promoted to the First Division of the AUL and they remained in this division until transferring to the Munster Junior League for season 1990/91. Not to be outdone the Second Juniors also gained promotion, when in 1987/88 under the management of Connell Foley they finished runners up in Division 3A of the AUL.
Meanwhile the seniors now under the management of Brendan Manley were improving all the time and were determined to make the elusive breakthrough at senior level. In Brendan’s first year in charge the title developed into a three horse race involving Corinthians, Tramore Ath. and Crofton Celtic. The title was decided on the last day of the season when Crofton defeated Tramore Ath., leaving Corinthians in runners up spot. The seniors were always to the forefront over the next couple of years without the luck needed to capture a trophy and in Brendan’s last year in charge finished in fourth place in the Munster Senior League.
If the eighties had promised more than they had delivered, a great deal of hard work had been put in both on and off the field and the Club was to reap the benefit of this work during the nineties.
Since the Clubs formation in 1971, Corinthians had depended on U.C.C. and other clubs for the use of their facilities. However in the late eighties, the main committee recognised that, if the Club was to grow and develop into the future it needed its own facilities, its own home.
A major fundraising drive was launched spearheaded by Kieran Logan. This proved hugely successful and as a result the Club was able to purchase a ten acre site in Castletreasure, Douglas in 1990. Two top class pitches were developed and were available for use for the start of the 1991/92 season. It was undoubtedly the most significant development in the Clubs history, Corinthians now had a base a place it could call its own.
John O’ Donovan had returned as manager of the senior team for the 1989/90 season. The team played superbly throughout the season and achieved two historic breakthroughs for the Club. In May 1990, following a thrilling final, they defeated Tramore Ath. 3-2 to take the Beamish Cup. It had taken nineteen years for Corinthians to win its first senior trophy but the wait was well worthwhile. However earlier in the season, Corinthians, as a result of a 3-2 away victory over Railway Union, had qualified for the F.A.I. Senior Cup and a home tie with Newcastlewest. It was the start of a love affair with the competition, which saw Corinthians qualify for the Senior Cup seven times during the nineties. These matches are covered in more detail in the Scrapbook section.
The Nineties also opened brightly for the Corinthians First Junior squad, now under the management of Peter Quigley. After a magnificent campaign they won the Cork Area of the F.A.I. Junior Cup in January of 1991 defeating Dunbar Celtic 2-0 in the final. They followed up with victory in the Carling Super Cup defeating Wembley 2-1 in the final. Significantly, the clubs membership continued to grow and August 1991 saw the formation of a third Junior team under the management of Fintan O’Shea. This side started once again in the Third Division of the Cork AUL.
Fergus McDaid took over management of the Senior team in 1992 and brought several new faces into the squad both graduates and non graduates. The seniors challenged strongly for the senior league title over the next two years and also reached the quarter final of the F.A.I. Intermediate Cup twice before losing to Ashtown Villa and Bluebell Utd. However the experience gained in those two campaigns was to prove invaluable.At the start of the 1994/95 season hopes were high that the Club would have a successful season. Fergus McDaid had again strengthened his squad during the close season and former U.C.C. senior manager Kieran Grainger had returned to manage the Corinthians First Junior team. However what transpired was even beyond our own wildest dreams.The race for the Senior League title in 1994/95 was a two horse contest with College Corinthians and Avondale Utd., neck and neck throughout the entire season. The title was eventually decided in the second last match of the season when Corinthians and Avondale drew 1-1. The point gained by Corinthians ensured the title went to College Corinthians for the first time ever. The First Juniors also took the Munster Junior League Premier Division title losing only one match all season. The Corinthians Over Thirty Five side won the Over Thirty Five League and the Third Juniors won the Division 2A title in the AUL, but yet this was only part of the story. Having reached the quarter finals of the Intermediate Cup in 1993 and 1994, the seniors were determined to go all the way and how close they came. This time they got over the quarter final hoodoo defeating Avondale 2-1, Ashtown Villa were overcome in the semi final 3-1 and Corinthians were through to play Fanad Utd. from Donegal in the Final. Sadly, Fanad proved too strong in the final and took the trophy on a 1-0 scoreline. However there was one more tale to tell from that historic season, the Seniors took on League of Ireland side and former F.A.I. Cup winners Bray Wanderers in a fifth round F.A.I. Senior Cup match at our grounds in Castletreasure. On a day never to be forgotten, a goal by Ray Clifford gave Corinthians a shock 1-0 win. (see ScrapBook for more details),
The 1994/95 season also saw the introduction of schoolboy football in College Corinthians when on Saturday September 3rd an under twelve team made their debut in the Cork Schoolboys League against Blarney Utd. The schoolboy section plays under the name "Corinthian Boys" (see schoolboy section).
The 1995/96 season saw the Club opening a new dressing room complex, while on the pitch the Seniors could not retain their league title finishing third. For the next two seasons the management trio of Fergus McDaid, Paddy Short and Kieran Moran probably had at their disposal the most talented group of players the Club has ever had and they dominated local soccer taking the Senior League title again in 1996/97 and following up with an incredible season in 1997/98. Playing some tremendous football, the Senior team made it three Munster Senior League titles in four years and they also won the Keane Cup and the O’Connell Cup. However it was in the F.A.I. Intermediate Cup that the team showed its true potential. Victories over Fermoy, Glasheen, Swords Celtic, Avondale, Mervue Utd. and Cobh Wanderers put the Seniors in the semi final where they faced Whitehall Rangers in Dublin. With probably the finest display ever by a Corinthians Senior team, they eased past Whitehall on a 3-1 scoreline. For the second time in four years, Corinthians were back in an Intermediate Cup final where they faced old adversaries Cherry Orchard. It was to prove a huge disappointment for everyone in the Club, but particularly the players and management as the team played well below par and went down 2-1.It was a good year also for the Second Juniors, who with Martin McCarthy at the helm took the St. Michaels Cup defeating Leeside 2-1 in the final, while the First Juniors finished runners up in the Premier Division of the Munster Junior League.
Season 1998/99 was a time of change for the Seniors with many of the leading players from previous seasons unavailable, however the First Junior squad now managed by Kevin Smith had a fine season , winning the Premier Division League title as well as the Carling League Cup and reaching the last sixteen of the F.A.I. Junior Cup while the Over Thirty Fives once again took their League title. Meanwhile as part of the ongoing development of Corinthian Park, the Club invested over £200,000 in an Astro Grass All Weather pitch.
The New Millennium
The Club still retains its strong links with U.C.C. with the majority of our members still coming from the College, while the schoolboy section is growing and developing all the time. I wonder did the five founding members of the Club, Bernard and Finbarr Clayton, Ken Riordain, Niall O’Shea and Denis Carey realise what they were starting back in 1971
Senior: League – 1994/5, 1996/7, 1997/8, 1999/00, 2002/03
Munster Senior Cup Runners up 1999/00
Keane Cup – 1997/8. 2002/03
Beamish Cup – 1989/90.
O'Connell Cup – 1997/8.
First Junior: League – 1984/85 (AUL), 1994/5, 1998/9.
Carling League Cup – 1998/9, 2008/2009.
Carling Super Cup – 1990/91
Cork Area F.A.I. Junior Cup – 1990/91.
Second Junior: St Michael's Cup – 1997/8.
Third Junior: League 1994/5.
Over35: Four League titles
Cup ;1991/92, 1995/96
Finally, a special mention for those adults who represented the club at international level.
Kieran Moran and Pat Burke, who represented their country at Intermediate level and
Caroline and Ronnie Nagle, who represented their country at Ladies Senior level
1990 Ardmanning Cup Winners
1991 LFAI Intermediate Cup Winners, Munster Cup Finalists
1993 LFAI Senior Cup Finalists
1994 Munster Cup Finalists
1995 LFAI Senior Cup Finalists
1997 Castlegregory Tournament Winners
1998 Steve Quinn Cup Finalists
2001 Steve Quinn Cup Winners, Premier League Runners-Up