DROGHEDA BOYS FC
The story so far...
Formed in 1985, Drogheda Boys was set up to provide the local youth with a place to play football at the highest standard. Before the club was formed, there was no winter league in the town, and young talented players regularly travelled the long trip to Dublin to play their football. The Drogheda District league, a summer league at the time, chose a squad of under 12 players and the team was entered to the ‘E’ division.
Managed by brothers, John and Jimmy Maguire, with a grassy scrubland at Marleys Lane, armed with a borrowed kit from local Leinster senior league club Boyne Rovers, and provided with a bus for away matches by the other local LSL side West End United, (now Drogheda Town) the young team who featured future Irish internationals Gary Kelly and Nicky Colgan proceeded to win every match (except a 1-1 draw with new player development partners Glebe North of Balbriggan, and a 4-3 SFAI cup defeat from our “bogey” team, St Kevins Boys) on their way to league and cup glory, a new club was born and so began our 30 year journey...
The following year a second team was formed, and over the next decade young players from Drogheda Boys were regulary appearing in Irish international schoolboy games, making their way into the League of Ireland, or travelling across the water.
In the mid 90s the club enjoyed it greatest success on the field,teams were comfortable members of the DDSL premier divisions and the club reached the SFAI cup final in two consecutive seasons with different teams. It was around this time that links were formed with Drogheda United, a link that would grow into the strong relationship that exists today, and saw Drogheda Boys change their colours from traditional red and black to the now familiar claret and sky blue, instantly recognizable on pitches in the north east.
Over the next decade and a half, the clubs numbers had swelled. Dressing rooms were built, money was raised and used to build Drogheda’s first astro training facility.The club began entering teams into the NDSL as well as the DDSL, and renamed its summer camp the “Paddy Mooney Soccer School”, named after the mastermind of those two SFAI cup final apperances.
But by 2010 it was time to re-examine the direction of the club. Drogheda Boys teams had fallen down the divisions of the DDSL and NDSL. The best young players were again travelling the now shorter journey to the capital. Less players were entering LOI setups and schoolboy International caps were a thing of the past for Drogheda Boys players. Locally, the Drogheda League, now named the DCSL, had grown, with many new teams formed.
Experienced coaches were consulted. A player development plan was introduced along with minimum coach education standards. A Director of Coaching was appointed and the clubs younger small sided teams were re-entered into the DCSL.
A few years on, the young players are starting to emerge again, less are travelling up to “the big smoke”, Drogheda Boys players are again appearing on League of Ireland’s team sheets. Don’t X (cross) the line was introduced, and the football is now beautiful again.
After appointing Drogheda United’s former Head of Youth Development, Rory Kerr, the club has recently helped to create and sign a first of its kind “Player Pathway” featuring 3 clubs from 2 counties, Drogheda Boys, Drogheda United, and the first club to ever take points off the club, Glebe North of Balbriggan.
With large scale community development plans in place as well as a renewed player development plan, the future of schoolboy soccer in the town of Drogheda and the next 30 years for Drogheda Boys Football club is looking bright!