In 2019 we at Straide & Foxford United AFC are celebrating 30 years – take a stroll down memory lane with us…
WHERE WE BEGAN…
It takes a monumental decision by two rural clubs who are going nowhere to amalgamate and that is precisely what Straide United and Foxford FC did in the early summer of 1988.Straide United founded in 1979 had a useful junior team in the premier division but had not the resources or back up to make a major attack to the championship.Foxford FC founded in 1974 had a declining junior team in division one but a useful schoolboys and youths setup with two schools in their backyard.
Never before in Mayo soccer had two rural clubs got together to unite but with the above picture staring both clubs in the face, this seemed the only way forward.Both teams agreed on the name Straide & Foxford United AFC and in 1989 the club was formed.The abbreviated “S&F Utd” has been a commanding name in soccer circles in the West of Ireland for the past 40 years.
Runners up in their first season of amalgamation 1989/1990, it did not take Straide & Foxford United long to make their mark on the game, as the seasons came and went so did the honours… It takes a good team to win the Mayo Premiership League, but a great team to retain it… on the 16th of April 1994 we became the 5th club ever to successfully defend the Mayo Premiership League thus securing a place in the record books of Mayo soccer.
The following season the decision was made to join the Connacht Senior League. We would face much tougher competition but Straide & Foxford United have never shied away from hard work. A gruelling campaign ensued… our first season in the Connaught Senior League – our first Connacht Senior League Title – champions at the first time of asking.
The first season of the new millennium brought its own rewards – our first team were crowned Super League champions, our second team divisional cup champions and runners up in their division.With great highs come great lows… in 2007 for the first time in our clubs proud history we were relegated from the Super League. In the face of adversity you must find your lesson and learn it. And learn it we did… In 2008 for the first time in the history of Mayo soccer
Straide & Foxford United AFC completed the treble – league champions with not one defeat or draw, divisional cup champions and Mayo cup champions – the wheel had come full rotation – we were back where we belonged in the top flight of Mayo soccer.
Since the teams of Straide United and Foxford FC amalgamated, the club has always implemented a strong policy of developing soccer amongst the schoolboys, schoolgirls and youths of Straide, Foxford and the nearby hinterlands. Our youths set up started with just one team – U13 boys. This team won their division with maximum points from their ten games in their first year of competition 1989/1990 and believe it or not some of those players are still lining out for our Super League team!! In the season 1995/96 Straide & Foxford United Ladies were established with 15 girls registered – their first year in competition our U14 girls are league champions!!
40 years later we cater for girls and boys from U6 right up to U17; for the 2019 season we have over 150 youth players registered with the club. This is a testament to our amazing coaches who do so much for the youth of our club and instil a passion and pride for Straide & Foxford United. Our coaches have always been the cornerstone of our club. Our youths – boys and girls have won numerous county and provincial titles over the years all of which we as a club are so very proud of.
ONWARDS AND UPWARDS
With success comes the chance for our brightest stars to be recognised, over the years we have been fortunate enough to see our players to on to higher stages…
Republic of Ireland Call Up.
It has been our great joy to see three of our players receive their cap for Ireland.
League of Ireand
Many of our junior players have gone on to be signed with League of Ireland clubs –
Sligo Rovers, Mervue Utd, Fairview Rangers and Belvedere.
Straide & Foxford United AFC have always been well
represented on County panels over the years at both junior and youth
level. This 2019 season has been no
exception – with 8 of our youth players representing the club both girls and
boys. And this year a Straide & Foxford United player captains the Kennedy
Cup Squad – Colm McHale who is from Gurteens, Straide leads the Mayo U14 boys
The amalgamation of the two clubs has strengthened the bonds of Straide village and Foxford town – in good times we help each other celebrate and when times get tough we support each other.
We at Straide & Foxford are looking forward to next 30 years of serving the people of Straide & Foxford and we hope you can join us in August to celebrate
“30 years of Straide & Foxford United AFC”