Wexford's Curracloe United earn FAI Club Mark
Affectionately known as The Seasiders, the club was founded in 1971 and it’s committee is currently making preparations to mark the club’s 50th Anniversary next year.
Players were drawn mainly from the Curracloe and Screen areas and the team began life in the 4th Division of the Wexford and District Football League.
The club depended on the generosity of local landowners for pitches until it acquired its own land in 1997 and owes a debt of gratitude to the Breen, Cloney, Jackman, Corrigan and Redmond families for the use of their fields during the first 26 years of the club’s existence.
A new era for the club began in 1994 with the start of a weekly Development Lotto Draw and the setting up of a Limited Trust Company with the aim of purchasing land to develop as pitches
and a clubhouse. This dream became a reality in 1997 when 8 acres were bought in Ballaghablake upon which 2 grass pitches, a floodlit grit training pitch and the clubhouse were
built over the course of the following years. “The Riverfield” was officially opened in August 2005 and thanks to the incredible support from the local community as well as grants from The
National Lottery and the FAI, the entire project was completed and debt free by 2007.
Not resting on its laurels, the 8 adjoining acres were then bought and a third grass pitch was developed. The great progress made by the club was recognised in 2010 as Curracloe United
was awarded The Aviva Club of Month Award in January. Later in 2010, “The Riverfield” hosted the FAI Festival of Football during which our third pitch was officially opened by the travelling FAI party.
Due to the quality of the pitches at The Riverfield, there is high demand for their use by the leagues in Wexford for intercounty matches, cup finals and league play offs. In April 2005, Curracloe was the host venue for an U17 Women’s International Tournament and in the summer of 2015 the club’s facilities were used as a training base by BILK Kazygurd from
Kazakhstan and Gintra from Lithuania during the Group Stage of the Women’s Champions League.
Following some limited underage team activity in the late eighties, Curracloe United began its present underage section in 1994. From very humble beginnings, with only three players at it’s
first training session, the schoolboys and schoolgirls sections of the club now have over 300 players from it’s U8 Academy up to U18. There are now up to 30 coaches involved in the training and fielding of teams in these age groups.
Numerous Wexford leagues and cups have been won by the club’s underage teams over the years as well as progressing to the later stages of national cup competitions on occasions. Curracloe has reached the national finals of the Danone Cup for boys and were in the finals of the U14 Girls' National Cup this year. One of the best days for the club came in 2006 when the
girls' U14 team won the Leinster Cup on the same day as the ladies team won the Leinster Intermediate Cup.
A number of Curracloe’s underage players have progressed onto League of Ireland teams and at one stage five of the club’s former players were playing in the League of Ireland. Among the
highest profile underage players to progress from the club are;
Kevin O’Connor, who was left full back on Cork City’s double winning team of 2017 before signing for Preston North End in the English Championship
Craig McCabe, who won Irish U15 caps
Rianna Jarrett, who spent a season with the club and is now an established international
and also Charlotte McCormack, who is making a name for herself in America
Currently the adult section of the club fields two mens teams and one youths team in the Wexford Football League. Over the years Curracloe United have one numerous divisional titles and promotions right up to the Premier League. The club has also won the Billy Browne Cup in 1986 and the Neil O’Sullivan Cup in 2011. Their youths teams have reached the Youth Cup Final twice in the last 6 years.
Without doubt, some of Curracloe United’s greatest successes have been achieved off the pitch and the Club Mark is recognition of the organisation and governance that makes the club a model for clubs countrywide. The strength of the club has always been in its supporters, members, volunteers, committee members and more recently it’s Board of Directors.
Indeed, some of the present committee and directors have been with the club since it’s tentative beginnings back in the summer of 1971.
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