The achievement of the current Trim Celtic first team in reaching the last
16 of the FAI Junior Cup (out of an entry of 676 teams) has inevitably given
rise to comparisons with the only previous Celtic team to reach the quarter …..

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The achievement of the current Trim Celtic first team in
reaching the last 16 of the FAI Junior Cup (out of an entry of 676 teams)
has inevitably given rise to comparisons with the only previous Celtic team
to reach the quarter final stage of this, the biggest Junior soccer competition
in these islands. That was the team of 1976/7 managed by Christy Ginnerty
and as Alan Kirwan’s current squad makes plans for its away fixture in Limerick
against Carew Park next Sunday (a place in this year’s quarters awaits the
winner), Christy reminisced this week about what he described as a ‘fabulous
group of players, possibly the best the Club has ever seen’
-his squad of
1976/7.


Christy Ginnerty…Manager 1876/7
‘It is always difficult to be objective when making comparisons
that span the years because sentiment and passing time tend to enhance the
reputations of retired players
‘ said Christy recently. ‘At the present
time Celtic have a wonderful bunch of young very talented players with one
or two older & wiser heads’
but Christy feels that the current crop need
to land some silverware on the Club table before they can claim to be the
equals of his great 1976/7 squad. His squad was successful in landing several
trophies at the time and indeed they went on to clinch their (Leinster Junior)
League title in a midweek game the week after their quarter final game 28
years ago.
The progress of the current squad in this year’s tournament
has been well reported locally but for the benefit of those who missed the
details, these are the results of the five rounds played to date.
10th October 2004 1st Round
Mellows Utd 4-1 (home)
Scorers: David Conway(2) & Craig O’Hanlon(2)
7th November 2004 2nd Round
Donagh Celtic Emyvale 3-1 (away)
Scorers: David Conway, Paul Campbell & David Fagan
28th November 2004 3rd Round
Courtown Hibs 3-2 (home)
Scorers: David Conway (2) & Paul Campbell
12th December 2004 4th Round
Rathgar 3-1 (home)
Scorers: Shane Ashe (2) & Paul Campbell
16th January 2005 5th Round
Baldoyle 2-2 & 5-4 pens (home/MDL)
Scorers: David Conway & Shane Ashe
Penalties: Dominic Martin, Paul Campbell, Paul Bartley, David Fagan & Shane
Ashe
The following was the route taken by Christy’s squad to its place in the quarter final in 1977 where they were eliminated rather
unluckily by Limerick side Pike Rovers -ironically still in this year’s competition and a stalwart name down the years in Junior football nationally.
Celtic played their home games then at the back of the old CBS. It is interesting to note that Christy’s team played no fewer than nine games to reach
the quarter final that year.
1st Round
Garda 5-2 (home)
Tony Donohoe, Dermot Forrestal (2), Jack Kennedy & Sean Farrell
2nd Round
Musgraves 3-1 (home)
Scorers: Dermot Forrestal, Frank McCann & Mick Munnelly
3rd Round
Keltic United Dublin 2-1 (away)
Scorers: Sean Farrell & Dermot Forrestal


Ken Wilson…Squad Member 1976/7
4th Round
St. Marks Athletic Balbriggan 4-1 (away)
Scorers: Frank McCann (2), Dermot Forrestal & Jack Kennedy.
5th Round
RTE Dublin 2-1 (away)
Scorers: Dermot Forrestal & Jack Kennedy.
6th Round
Talbot United Dublin 1-1 (away)
Scorer: Jack Kennedy
Talbot United (replay in Trim) 3-2
Scorers: Sean Farrell & Jack Kennedy (2)
7th Round
MCR Sligo 2-2 (away)
Scorers: Dermot Forrestal, & Jack Kennedy
MCR (replay in Trim) 3-0
Scorers: Dermot Forrestal, Mick Munnelly & Tony Donohoe
8th Round
Pike Rovers Limerick 1-2 AET (away)
Scorer: Mick Munnelly
The squad of 1976/7 was profiled in the Evening Herald following the
team’s League wining display a few days after its defeat in the FAI Junior
Cup quarter final.
The late Dr. ‘Jack’ Brody, Club President in those early years presented
his Player of the Year perpetual cup, to the Club in 1974 and four of these
players have their names engraved on it. They are Kevin Toole (first name
on the trophy), Mick Munnelly (twice), Sean Farrell and Peter ‘Bubbles’
Campbell.
Five of the current squad also have their names on the prestigious trophy
already. Dominic Martin (twice), David Conway (holder), Ciaran Rispin, Damien
Dempsey and Paul Campbell. How many more will enjoy this privilege?
Christy sees enough talent in the current squad to get the right result
in Limerick -provided that everyone plays to the best ability in the game
against Carew Park. ‘Whilst I have not seen the team play as often as
I would wish in recent times, I keep in touch with Club Officials and I
read all the reports published. I am quite confident that they can return
to Trim with a ticket into the next round.’


Peter Campbell…Squad Member 1976/7
‘Whilst I admire so much the older generation of Celtic players and
some of them were magnificent players, I see some real gems also in the
current squad and it is really satisfying to see that so many of them have
played for years as schoolboys with the Club. This is really great. Players
like Paul Campbell whose father Peter ‘Bubbles’ was a member of my squad
and Dominic Martin whose leadership has been so valuable to the side. Also
Noel Payne, Barry O’Callaghan, Ciaran Rispin, David Fagan, Shane Ashe and
Craig O’Hanlon who still plays Schoolboy football for the Club. Who knows
what success awaits them just down the road? They are still contesting the
Premier Division of the MDL and have advanced to the quarter final of the
MDL Challenge Cup, which the Club won in 2001 -one of our greatest days
ever.
‘One thing is certain’, said Christy, ‘there will be nobody
happier than me if Alan Kirwan’s lads can emulate and better the record
of my lads in 1976/7 by getting to and past the quarter final stage. We
are very proud of our Club and its traditions and I sincerely hope to see
the present lads write more significant chapters in our history before this
season is finished -starting next Sunday in Limerick.’
‘Once a Celt, always a Celt’ said the man who was a founder
member of Trim Celtic back in the summer of 1967.
Christy was also anxious also to record the huge help he received on
the sideline that season from his Assistant Manager Bernard Barry, since
sadly passed away. Readers should be reminded that the Second Team also
won their (Leinster Junior) League that season.
The full current squad is as follows. We will wait for the newspapers
to pay tribute to them individually in due course!
Barry O’Callaghan
Ciaran Rispin
Dominic Martin
Keith Jones
Andrew Reilly
Dermot Bartley
Paul Bartley
John Bligh
Ciaran Mulvenna
Noel Payne
Paul Campbell
David Fagan
David Conway
Shane Ashe
Paul Rispin
Craig O’Hanlon
Michael Martin
Ross Campbell
Damien Dempsey
Come on the Celts!