Soccer season kicks off in Roscommon


The Roscommon & District Football league season kicks off this weekend. This season sees the arrival of Boyle Celtic and St. Peter’s of Athlone to the Premier Division in the 47th year of the league. This week PRO Vincent Brooks looks ahead to another competitive season.

This weekend sees the beginning of the forty-seventh season of football for the Roscommon & District League. This season will see a change in format with the first two rounds of the Premier Division Cup being played before all three divisions kick-off on August 26th.

  A big change for the Roscommon & District League will be the increase of teams competing in the Premier Division from the traditional ten to twelve for the coming season. This increase has come about as a result of the return to the league of former greats Boyle Celtic and new side St. Peter’s FC from Athlone.

  Boyle Celtic were in existence before the formation of the Roscommon & District League and were one of the founding members. They won just about every competition in the RDFL before moving to the Sligo/Leitrim Super League in the late 80s. The main reason for their departure was to enable them to make the shorter journeys to teams in the Sligo/Leitrim area.

  In recent years they have been one of the top teams in the Super League, winning the championship twice in the last three seasons. They also reached the FAI Junior Cup Semi-Final last season only to be beaten in a penalty shootout by the Kilkenny side Evergreen. They were also beaten in the Connacht Cup Semi-Final. They will provide stiff opposition to teams in the Premier Division in the coming season but they will be a very popular side.

  St. Peter’s from Athlone are based on the Connacht side of the town but draw their players from all over Athlone. The club, which was formed in 1980, played up to now in the Leinster Combined Counties League.

  While they played in the shadow of Willow Park for a number of seasons, they still succeeded in winning many trophies. In 2007, they finished runners-up in the FAI Junior Cup and last season they were the Combined Counties League champions. Given their choice of players they will be among the favourites to win the Premier Division this season.

  Last season’s RDFL Premier Division champions Ballymoe FC and Challenge Cup holders Castlerea Celtic meet on Saturday evening at 6.30 pm in this season’s Shield final.

  Moore United travel to Newbridge on Friday where they play Shiven Rovers in the first round of the Premier Division Cup with a kick-off at 8 pm.

  St. Peter’s travel to Ballaghaderreen where they play the home side on Saturday evening at 6.30 pm.

  On Sunday, newly promoted Cloonfad United play old rivals Skyvalley Rovers at Cloonfad at 2 pm while St. John’s Athletic are in action against Ballinasloe Town at noon.

  A reminder that results with goal scorers for both teams should be sent by the home side to the PRO Vincent Brooks 087-6476597 as soon as games finish.