Innishvilla AFC

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A brief history of Innishannon Soccer leading up to present day Innishannon AFC.

Innishannon in the early years.
An early Innishannon AFC Team Photo

In 1967 a group of local teenagers arranged a challenge game against a Bandon group and from there began the Innishannon Soccer Club. The match took place in the local school field after which the lads were "evicted". Finding a pitch continued to dog their efforts but they remained determined to carry on. The first full game involving more senior locals was a friendly v. CMP Dairies. The match was to be played in St. Patrick's, Upton, but on arrival it was discovered that a GAA match was already underway. Some quick thinking guy figured out the GAA grounds in the village should therefore be free and the match was quickly transferred. Using coats as goalposts, the game was concluded before GAA officers arrived. It was, we believe, the only soccer match to take place in the "Bleach".


Thanks to the generosity of Paul Kingston (RIP) a pitch was in readiness for 1969 and Innishannon took part in the local Kyre League, which consisted of 5 teams - including "Crossbarry" from the northern side of the parish.


In 1971 the Club was playing in the Cork AUL. Home games were played on the lands of Billy Burns. In 1974 the team won its section in Division 3 of the league and later lost out to Victoria Athletic in the play-offs. By then the club had attracted members of the neighbouring areas of Ballinhassig and Ballinspittle. It was impossible to fill a team of "locals" as many were committed to the very successful Valley Rovers GAA Club.


These factors led to the temporary break-up of the club after 1974. Some members went to other nearby clubs such as Crossbarry (later to become St. Patrick's), Killeady and Bandon.


Innishannon re-entered the Cork AUL for the 1980/81 season with a team of all Innishannon personnel. This continued until the end of the 1981/82 season with very little success on the field. The club opted out of competition again the following season due to unavailability of a pitch.


The Club was back in the AUL for the 1983/84 season thanks to the generosity of the Eli Lilly Factory, Dunderrow who put their excellent pitch at the clubs disposal - free of charge. Despite suffering a lot more defeats than successes the Club struggled on. Because of its location a number of players from Kinsale joined up and attracted a sizeable number of young players there also. However the goal difference at the end of each season still made interesting reading.


The incoming committee for the 1990/91 season decided that the forming of a Youth's team might help to improve matters. Their first season was a great success and included a player to later play for the Cork AUL team, Peter Jones. The second season proved very difficult with the team getting very little support from the player’s parents. The financial burden became too great and the Youth team was scrapped prior to the 1992/93 season.


The junior team was elevated to the Second Division for the 1989/90 season in a restructuring of the leagues. After two seasons Innishannon were relegated to the Third Division again until the season of 1992/93 where the team ended the season as runners-up in their league section and gained promotion to the Second Division. This coincided with the move away from Dunderrow to our present home in Skevanish. At Skevanish thanks to the wonderful co-operation of the Quinn Family, the club has developed a fine pitch and dressing rooms within close proximity of the Village. The Club grew steadily over the next few years matching the growth in the area. 1995/96 season brought a low, being relegated down to the Third Division once again. But 1997 brought the Club its finest hours to date. Finishing Runners-up in the league, hence gaining promotion back to the Second Division, and qualifying for the final on the Presidents Cup in Turners Cross. On a fabulous day for the team Innishannon won on penalties, the club has grown from strength to strength since. The money raised from sponsorship for that match has enabled the installation of floodlights and hot showers.


In the past few years a very successful underage system has sprouted up. The underage club was to be a joint venture between two clubs in the parish Innishannon and Knockavilla hence the name Innishvilla. However after a year or two the input from the Knockavilla club was non existent so the underage club and the Innishannon junior club decided to become one. The junior club in an effort to show that they were willing to cater for the whole parish changed their name to Innishvilla, thus giving a clearer identity to both junior and underage sections in the club.


To its credit the underage section has exploded in size, with teams competing in 6 different age groups and a strong U7 – U10 section also; the club catering for over 100 boys and girls of all ages. The club has seen plenty of success winning league titles in the U12 section and following that up the next year with wins in the U11 and U12 leagues coupled with some terrific national cup runs in all age groups. Innishvilla underage teams can count College Corinthians, Rockmount and many others on their long list of scalps in national cup competitions with 2006/07 seeing 2 teams getting to the last Cork round before the open national draw…


As they say success breeds success and this was again evident when the junior side followed up the underage success this past year by winning promotion for the first time to Division 1 of the AUL. The biggest news of all for the club came in the off-season when the documents were signed and the bulldozers moved in on the new pitches that have been bought by the club. It is a huge undertaking but the future looks bright for a club that started from a small foundation but now caters for an ever expanding parish…

President's Cup presentation

The Victorious Squad

If any facts here are wrong (blame Sean!!!) please send the corrections to