EANY Celtic have sensationally announced its withdrawal from the Donegal League Division Two effective immediately.
After weeks of speculation and desperate attempts for the troubled club to be saved, team manager Eddie Gallagher confirmed the news on Wednesday.
Speaking to the Donegal News, Gallagher explained the reasons which led to the decision and what the future holds for Eany Celtic.
The Inver based club were unable to travel to play Gweedore United last weekend, resulting in a 3-0 win for the Carrickboyle outfit.
“There was a time when he had good players but no facilities. Today we have top-of-the-range facilities but we can’t get the players,” he sighed.
Eany Celtic have a very strong underage structure which caters for all age groups from U8, U10, U12, U14 and U16. Playing facilities at Eany Park include a floodlit astro pitch and training pitch adjacent to the main pitch with seated area for supporters.
“It doesn’t look good for us at the moment. We were due to play Gweedore last week but we had to concede the points. We’re struggling for players and we’re now waiting on word back from the league buit we’ve indicated to them that we won’t be able to finish out the season,” he said.
Winners of the Division One title twice inside the last decade, Eany have traditionally complimented their squad of locally based players with lads from as far away as Ardara.
“Many of the older players who were winning titles six or seven years ago have stopped playing and we’re struggling to attract younger players – they don’t seem to be bothered anymore,” he lamented.
“When you’ve got players going away to play darts instead of playing football it’s time to question where we’re at,” he added.
The impending start of the new GAA season doesn’t help either.
“I’ve been playing with St Nauls myself for years – since 1995 I think. I’m from a GAA family and I’ve no problems with the GAA but it’s a fact of life that many of the lads will now throw their lot behind the local gaelic club from here on in,” he admitted.
Poor weather conditions over the winter have also been a factor.
“The last few years, in particular, have been a struggle while the poor winter this year hasn’t helped. More and more clubs in the Donegal League are depending on GAA players and we’re certainly not the only club struggling in that regard,” he said.
Both Gallagher and his assistant manager Gavin Maguire have played in the last three to four league matches to help make up the numbers.
“We’re back playing. We’ve had no choice. Some of our younger lads signed for Donegal Town, who play in a higher league, at the start of the season. Others work in Killybegs in the fishing industry. It’s seasonal work and when they get the offer of earning double pay on a Sunday we can’t stand in their way.
“There was a time when we could depend on seven or eight players – like the McGroartys – but the younger lads aren’t coming through in the same numbers. We do have a youg lad, Mark Hutchinson, playing in the middle of the park but he’s only sixteen and that’s too young. We’ve a number of other good young players like Dylan Neill, Ryan McBrearty and Dermot Gallagher and it’s them that I feel really sorry for,” he said.
“This is a free weekend but we’ve told the Donegal League that we’re in bother,” he added.
“Older fellas like me have to play when I would much prefer the younger lads to be getting a game. I’m spending more and more time on the phone on Thursday, Friday and Saturday tyring to get lads to play for the club. It’s demoralising,” he said.
Posted: 5:30 pm March 15, 2018
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