The Outsiders

 

Bangor Celtic - Founded: 1987

Background: The club was founded after a split in the ranks of Cashel Villa and set up shop at the Good Shepherd school in Rathfarnham where they have been ever since. Although a small club, there has been considerable success so far. Their FAI senior cup debut this year is another major step forward.

Manager: Paul Ennis - formerly with Bohemians, St James's Gate, Bray, Harps and Kilkenny City.

Current team: Ennis has brought in a few new players this season to strengthen the panel and the results have been positive. They currently lead their division of the Leinster Senior League. There appears to be a decent mixture in the team with players like Robbie Cassidy and Declan Cronin having come from Shelbourne, Anto Fitzpatrick from Moyle Rovers and Cathal Warfield an outstanding performer in goal. His form has attracted interest from National League clubs. Ger Fogarty was the FAI Opel Junior Player of the Year four seasons back, and it is a testimony to the club's spirit that he stayed on.

Route to first round: Beat Athy Town 1-0 away, and Trinity Sports & Leisure and Castleview Road in replays at home.

Prospects: On the face of it, this one looks to be a bit of a toss up. St Mary's are at home which, in view of the distance to be travelled, is an important advantage.

Belgrove - 1948

Background: The club was established after a local priest, Fr Pop O'Keeffe, organised a highly successful local league. Did well from the outset, winning its division of the AUL in its first season and picking up at least one trophy a season for the decade. Won the FAI Junior Cup in 1957 - the same year they moved from St Anne's Park to their current home at Belgrove Park.

Manager: Tony Macken - Former international who played with Derby County and Walsall and was Ray Treacy's assistant in the title winning season at Rovers.

Current team: Macken reckons that he has plenty of talent in the side and points to the likes of centre half Darren Moore, as well as central midfielders Ken Ring and Stephen Dixon as being key players. Dave Fleming and Dixon's brothers Greg and Gareth also have the potential to make an impact.

Route to first round: Beat Quay Celtic, Bradford Rovers, Moville and St Joseph's Boys, all at home.

Prospects: The fact that they've surrendered home advantage for any replay says something about the priorities here - promotion back to the top flight of the Leinster Senior League is top of their list. Macken sees the trip to Finn Park as an opportunity for his players to gain some valuable experience and enjoy themselves rather than to cause an upset.

Cherry Orchard - 1957

Background: Established with the intention of catering for schoolboys in the Ballyfermot area, the senior side set up in the same year was very much an afterthought. Since then, however, both sections of the club have been phenomenally successful. Under the current manager the club has won seven FAI Junior Cups, including one, in 1995, with the second team.

Manager: John Wilkes - Has been with the club since 1981.

Current team: A strong side with a mixture of youth and experience, Orchard currently lead the senior division of the Leinster Senior League with 25 points from their 11 games. Their current form is all the more remarkable given that they lost several first team regulars including Vinny Perth, Bo Kenny and Colin Notaro to National League clubs over the summer. Young Alan McNevin, currently on loan back to the club from Arsenal, centre half Kevin Curley and the Smith brothers, Willie and Derek, are among the players to watch.

Route to first round: Beat Lansdowne 2-1 away before defeating Glebe North and Douglas Hall at home without conceding a goal.

Prospects: Have already beaten Ashtown Villa this season and start the game as the bookies' clear favourites to do so again. Villa are staking a good deal on their home advantage, though, as the Orchard have yet to beat them up at Moortown and so it should be tight.

Garda - 1960

Background: The club is, as might be expected, for members of the force, although it is open to outsiders and several of the current team are not gardai.

Manager: Gus Keating - Having played for the club for a decade, Keating has been team manager for longer than that now, although he did take a couple of years out to take charge at Glebe North.

Team: Big and strong, Keating insists that there is plenty of footballing ability in the team too. Have been doing well in the cups this season and have only played eight Leinster Senior League Senior Division matches. Padraig (Podge) Hearn, recently returned from injury, was the division's top scorer last season.

Route to first round: Beat Portlaoise, Ballyfermot, Tallaght Town.

Prospects: This is the fifth time that the club have made it to this stage of the competition and while they've never pulled off a shock before they have been a little unlucky on one or two of those occasions. This time they are happy with the draw and reckon that the trip to Cobh gives them a good shot at making it through.

Glenmore Celtic - 1946

Background: Having been set up to play up at Glenmore Cross in the lower reaches of the Dublin mountains, Celtic have played just about everywhere else on the southside over the past 50 odd years. Despite that they have flourished and only two seasons ago they lifted the Intermediate Cup.

Manager: Joe Reynolds - ex-Shelbourne, Drogheda, Monaghan and Waterford Utd.

Current team: Made a bit of a shaky start to the current campaign but are now riding high on the back of an 11-match unbeaten run. The team has quality throughout, with the likes of Derek Dodds, Conor Flynn and Philip Power all having played at higher levels.

Route to first round: Beat AIB, Loughswinney, Mervue and Dublin Bus.

Prospects: It would, to put it mildly, be the shock of the round if Glenmore won tonight.

Rockmount - 1924

Background: Set up to cater for youths in the Whitechurch area, the club hit the headlines in the 1980s when it produced a spectacularly successful schoolboy side that included Roy Keane. This is their ninth time to reach this stage of the FAI Cup.

Manager: Billy Cronin, Noel Burke - both former Rockmount players now in their second season as joint managers.

Current team: Under the current management team things have been going rather well. Last season the team finished third in the Munster Senior League and lost out to Cork City by a single goal on their first appearance in a Munster Senior Cup final. This season they are fourth in the league with seven games played and their young team, most of whom started with the club as schoolboys, continues to show signs of improvement.

Route to first round: Beat Casement, Greystone and Leeds.

Prospects: The club's officials have been pleased that their counterparts at UCD have made no attempt to have the game moved, but nobody is pretending that it still won't take a very strong performance by the team if they are to cause an upset.

St Mary's - 1948

Background: Established by four locals to provide a team for the area around St Mary's Cathedral. Moved out to their current home at Kilcully in the mid-80s.

Manager: Martin Heffernan - had six years in the National League with Cork Hibs before spending 12 seasons as a player Mary's.

Current team: Currently third in their league with a couple of games in hand, there won't be any fear around this club about the visit of Bangor Celtic. Defender Jimmy O'Shea and midfielder Kenneth Quinn are the key players.

Route to first round: Beat Tralee Dynamoes, Ballincollig, Bank of Ireland and Avondale.

Prospects: St Mary's should make it through, but there is unlikely to be much in it. Will not want a replay in Dublin.

Swilly Rovers - 1927

Background: A major force in Ulster. Have enjoyed a fierce rivalry with Fanad which continues to this day.

Manager: Danny McConnell - Took over the team two seasons ago, but has already had a dramatic effect on the club's fortunes.

Current team: Having won the Ulster League Cup and finished second in the league last year, Rovers showed that they were determined to continue their progress by going out and signing another five players. With plenty of senior experience, they have the likes of Gary Heaney, Ciaran McGlinchey and Liam Curran in their ranks.

Route to first round: Beat Drumoghll, Youghal and Boyne Rovers.

Prospects: Very hopeful that they will be able to cope with whatever Kilkenny have to throw at them. McConnell is conscious, however, of the size of the pitch at Buckley Park. Draw and replay may be best bet.

Workman's/Dunleary '95 - 1995

Background: Club is an amalgamation of Rochestown Avenue's Workman's Club and Dunleary Celtic.

Manager: Michael Brown - a former Intermediate player with TEK and Dunleary Celtic, Brown was the manager of Celtic for six seasons before taking over the merged side four years ago.

Current team: With almost half a dozen players under 20, this side is probably one for the future. A lot depends on strikers Peter White and Dave McDonald.

Route to first round: Beat Swords Celtic, NUI Galway and Glasheen. Prospects: It hasn't been the best of seasons so far. Still, there were plenty of changes in the panel over the summer and there is a feeling that with things improving gradually there is the chance of an upset.