Letterkenny Rovers complete FAI Club Mark Entry Level
One of the oldest and most successful clubs in Donegal having been formed in 1962, the club was previously known as Letterkenny Crusaders.
The club - which caters for all ages from children right up to senior level - is based at Leckview Park right in the heart of the town. The pitch was officially opened in 1967 when former Celtic legend Bertie Peacock brought a star-studded Coleraine side from the Irish League to play a friendly game.
In 2010, a new 200 seater stand was erected in time to celebrate their 50th anniversary two years later. This was funded by the club’s own finances and a Sponsor A Seat For Life campaign where 200 patrons purchased a seat for €100.
Work is set to commence shortly on a new state of the art floodlit astroturf facility to complement the existing full size grass pitch which is costing in the region of €450,000. And while the club received €89,500 in funding under the Sports Capital Programme, the club will make up the difference through fundraising and a bank loan.
The club, which also benefits from the use of two grass pitches (one 7-a-side) at the Aura Leisure Centre, has 13 teams which compete in the Ulster Senior League, the Donegal League and the Donegal Schoolboys League. The club is also well served by a dedicated team of qualified coaches through the FAI Coaching pathway.
Past players Eunan Blake, Gerry Meehan, Anthony Gorman, Dale Gorman, Ryan McConnell and Christopher Flanagan have all gone on to achieve international honours.
The club has enjoyed many notable successes down through the years with an impressive roll of honours list. Among the stand out achievements, it won back-to-back Donegal League titles in the 1980/81 and 1981/82 seasons before going on to become one of the founding members of the Ulster Senior League in 1986.
The club has managed to win the USL on two occasions - in 2005 and 2009 while twice losing in a play-off. The club has also won the USL League Cup and the Knockalla Cup on five occasions each.
National competitions have also provided some great days of excitement for the Donegal club none more so than when they reached the final of the 2016 FAI Intermediate Cup against Crumlin United in the Final which was held at the Aviva Stadium. Unfortunately, it proved a step too far losing 5-0 on the day.
However, the semi-final replay win over Ringmahon Rangers at a packed Leckview Park to book their spot at the national stadium is a day that will live long in the memory of everyone who was there to witness it while there was a tremendous sense of anticipation in the build up to the final which created a real buzz around the locality.
The club were beaten semi-finalists in 2004 losing to Rockmount away after a replay.
Games against senior opposition have also been notable with the highlight being a first ever win over League of Ireland opposition in 2010 when defeating Mervue United in the EA Sports League Cup at Terryland Park while the club achieved a notable draw away to Athlone Town in the FAI Senior Cup in 2016 before losing the replay while also having the honour of facing former holders UCD at Belfield in 2019.
Letterkenny Rovers were proud to be accepted by the FAI into the Eircom U21 League in 2006 and the U19 Airtricity League in 2012.
The club has always prided itself in a thriving youth structure and this was evident by reaching a number of national youth finals in the 70s while also losing out in the FAI Youth Cup final in 2004 while the semi-final in 1991 saw them lose to a star-studded Home Farm team which included many future Republic of Ireland internationals.
Locally, the club’s youth teams have also won the Donegal Youth League on nine occasions while being perennial winners in the prestigious Colin Breslin and Gorey Curran Cup competitions. There have also been countless successes in the local schoolboys league.
While the club is proud of their many achievements, their main aim is the valued participation of their club members who serve the club with distinction both on and off the pitch.
The FAI Club Mark is free and optional for clubs and aims to:
• Improve the management of clubs ‘off the field’
• Establish and promote best practice
• Empower and support clubs
• Recognise and reward clubs for achieving high standards
• Increase a club’s capacity to operate effectively and grow football in communities throughout Ireland.
If your club is interested in learning more about the FAI Club Mark please complete this short Registration Form