Name: Maiden City F.C.
League: Northern Ireland Intermediate League
Ground: Swilly Stadium, Templemore
Colours: Red shirt, black shorts, and socks
Manager: Colm Cassidy
Captain: Dwayne McBreatry
Craig Memorial Cup winners 17/18 & 18/19
NIIL League Cup winners 17/18 & 18/19
NIIL Knock out cup winners 18/19
The latest installment of our Intermediate profile takes us back up to the NI Intermediate League, and to the newest club in the division.
Maiden City FC were born out of the Maiden City Soccer Academy, and the need to provide a full player pathway from youth football to senior level. The senior side entered the competition in 2016 under the watchful eye of former Institute manager, Academy Director Paul Kee. From there they have built on those foundations to become a major player in the Intermediate division.
“Last season was an excellent one for us, in what was only our third season as a club”. Kee commented. “We won three cups, had our highest finish to date in second position, and also made it to the Fifth Round of the Irish Cup for the second year running. As a club, we pride ourselves on our ‘cradle to grave’ philosophy. Since the senior side was launched players here can now start at 4 years of age right through to adult football.”
In their three years of existence, the club has managed to win the prestigious Craig Memorial Cup for each of the last two seasons. On both occasions, they have triumphed over Premier Intermediate sides, with the 2017/18 final seeing them secure a hard-fought 2-1 win over Portstewart. In last seasons finale they took on Tobermore United in their own back garden at Fortwilliam Park, but again took the trophy home thanks to a 3-1 win after extra time.
While Saturday past saw the Templemore side, now under the management of Colm Cassidy, exit the Irish Cup at the second round stage, the club have so far made progression in the Intermediate Cup and the Intermediate League Cup. Ahead of the start of the NI Intermediate League campaign, Kee says the aims for the new season haven’t altered.
“This season will be something of a transition season. We have plans to introduce a lot of our younger players in this campaign. We are going to see a number of 16/17-year-olds integrated into the first team. In the long term, the ambition here is to progress the club to the highest level we can reach.”
With 19 teams currently competing under the Maiden City banner, and the club counting the likes of Shane Ferguson and Eunan O’Kane among their alumni, the path to senior football has never been clearer for those involved with the club. With over 1200 players of all ages, and four full-time coaches working in both the academy and the community, the club continues to go from strength to strength.