Reunion of Rocks!

Club President Sean Mc Mullan and Treasurer John Riordan had the honor of attending the 25th annual Shamrocks mid-winter reunion at the home of Suzanne Mills in Malverne, Long island on Sunday afternoon.

Among the attendees were the club’s first ever president, Pat Rooney (Dublin), the club’s first manager, Bill Barron (Tipperary Town) and another great Dubliner, Pat Rooney, one of the legendary players from the original 1960 team which first took the field for the Shamrocks.
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Pictured with current club president Sean Mc Mullan (the tall one) are, from left to right, the first ever Shamrocks president Pat Rooney, one of the first players from the original 1960 team, also Pat Rooney and the first ever team manager Bill Barron.

 

Mrs Mills has been dedicated to keeping these amazing people in touch every January in order to keep the memories of that first decade of the Shamrocks alive. We presented her with a Shamrocks pennant and a club scarf  as a small gesture of appreciation for her part in keeping this vital history alive and thriving.

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Our host Suzanne Mills being presented a club pennant by John Riordan & Sean Mc Mullan.

Also in attendance was noted Rocks stalwart John McCrosson who connected the current committee with this lovely gathering and it was also a pleasure to meet with the Halpin brothers.

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The Shamrocks is going from strength to strength but we are always mindful of the great people who got this club going almost 56 years ago when it was a lot tougher to organize something like this.

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Billy Barron telling one of many great yarns from the early days.

We heard about their great games and successes, their amazing social calendar and their vital and thriving support network. The first home field was in Central Park but the rivalries with other teams was as strong then as it is now. We also learned about the 50th anniversary of the 1916 Rising which was marked by a game against a traveling Aer Lingus soccer team.

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They were delighted to hear that the club is going strong again and we updated them fully on all six of our teams. We are looking forward to welcoming them to Queens in the spring when we will hopefully have a few trophies to challenge for.

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Thanks again to Suzanne Mills for hosting and to all of the great people we met and who welcomed us with open arms. They are a vitally important part of our club and they provide us with more inspiration to keep growing but also staying true to the values they built the club upon back in 1960.

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Lanch of the 1916 commemorations

A few past and present Shamrocks were in attendance at Pier A on Thursday night for the launch of the 1916 commemorations by the Irish Consulate and the Irish government/Department of Foreign Affairs.
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Pictured from left to right are former players Thomas Goodwin and Tommy Smyth alongside current Shamrocks Legends Emmet Murphy and Ger Shivnan.
 
It was an excellent gathering and we all look forward to what should be a memorable year.

Rocks Women feature in Irish Echo

The Irish Echo recently published an excellent feature about our women’s team in for their last paper of 2015.

UPDATE: Jay Mwamba kindly sent us the text of the article. See below.

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SHAMROCK’S WOMEN BECOME FORCE IN JUST SECOND METRO SEASON

Call this the Irish era in New York area amateur soccer. In the last couple of seasons, two clubs, notably two-time champs Lansdowne Bhoys and Shamrock, have proudly flown the flag in the CSL, America’s premier amateur league.

Now the women are getting into the act.

Twelve months after their debut, the Shamrock team has emerged as a force in the New York Metropolitan Women’s Soccer League. Winless in their rookie season, the Irish lasses went into the winter break on top of the ‘B’ Division.

The Paddy Geragthy coached side suffered just one loss in all competitions in the fall –- and that was a 3-2 decision to ‘A’ Division leaders NY Magic in the State Cup quarterfinals.

“It’s like two different teams from [2014] to this year,” notes Geraghty, a long time Shamrock men’s team stalwart whose wife Tricia Reed co-founded the women’s side with Erin Cullen and Teresa Brink. “We didn’t win a game last year. This year we have won nine of our last 10 with our only defeat in the State Cup.”

And in addition to topping the standings, the Shamrock women are through to the league cup final after blanking Astoria 4-0 in the semi-finals in November.

So what led to this remarkable turnaround?

A number of factors, according to Geraghty.

They include an intensive recruitment effort that yielded gems such as the free scoring Sinead Hennessy and former college standout Teresa Ferraro; and the introduction of weekly training sessions at Harlem River Park.

Geraghty modestly glosses over his own impact as the team’s first official coach, a role he initially agreed to as “husband duty,” said wife and co-manager Tricia.

A former Purdue University player, Tricia Reed lauds her Dubliner husband’s contribution.

“Paddy has really embraced his role as our coach [and] no longer just as a ‘husband duty.’ He’s created a culture, and I get nothing but positive feedback from the girls. He understands the game better than any coach I’ve ever had, and is very strategic,” Reed said.

Co-founder Erin Cullen, a teammate of Tricia’s with the Harps in the Bronx Irish Soccer League before they launched the Shamrock women, concurred.

“The addition of Paddy Geraghty as coach has also expedited our team’s progress,” added Cullen, the team’s vastly experienced defense lynchpin whose playing career from youth level in New Jersey to the Shamrocks spans more than 25 years.

Thanks to the successful pre-season recruitment effort led by Tricia, Geraghty has a panel of 30 players to select his 18-member match day squad from every week. It’s a far cry from the sparse squad in Shamrock’s rookie season.

“The first year was really tough; we struggled for numbers every week for practice and games,” recalled Tricia. “We lost or tied most games, but every game we were playing with seven to 11 girls. I think we only had a [substitute] two games the whole season.”

Inevitably, as is always the case in soccer, or any sport for that matter, all the best made plans depend on the athlete[s] executing. Thankfully for the Shamrock ladies, their recruiting hit pay dirt.

SNIPER SINEAD

Forward Sinead Hennessy, from an athletic family with roots in Callan, Count Kilkenny, where her dad was a youth hurler, is one of the Lady Rocks’ massive acquisitions. Recruited by Cullen, she captains the side and has a team-high 17 goals from just 11 appearances for the club.

“I’m so proud to be a part of this amazing team and club,” Hennessy said. “We’ve worked our [socks] off to get to the top of the league and we’re grateful to be recognized for our achievements.”

She grew up in rural Washington State, honing her soccer skills with her six brothers under the tutelage of their father, and credits her Shamrock teammates for her prolific scoring.

The bad news for the Rocks’ opponents is that Hennessy is champing at the bit ahead of the spring action. “I’m looking forward to the second half of the season and continuing to dominate at the top of the division,” she says.

DREAM SIGNING

Midfielder Teresa Ferraro is another key member of the retooled Shamrock women’s squad. Geraghty calls her a dream signing.

“Her effort and enthusiasm in midfield rubs off on everyone else and keeps the level of intensity very high. Her will to win is matched by her ability which is very rare,” he said.

Ferraro was born in Queens of Italian immigrant parents and has been steeped in soccer from the age of five when she started playing in coed games.

She grew up in elite soccer programs including the Alberston Fury youth academy and the New York State Olympic Development Program. Later, Ferraro attended Marist College in upstate Poughkeepsie on a full scholarship and made the All MAAC Academic Team. Other honors followed including First Team All MAAC in her senior year.

For all her talents and credentials, it was, ironically, romance that brought Ferraro to the Rocks. Her boyfriend and favorite player, Zachary Gosse, is a defender on the Shamrock men’s team.

“He is the reason I joined the Shamrocks,” noted Ferraro. “He is a leader to his teammates and inspires me to be a better person.”

Buoyed by the success of the current side and the interest from other players, the Rocks are mulling plans to form another ladies team.

“We are hoping to create a second team for next year, and we have a lot of women interested already,” said Tricia.

There is, however, the challenge of finding permits for playing fields.

Shamrocks have been working with the Parks Department in Queens and appreciate the help of City Council Representative Elizabeth Crowley. The club views its need for more space to play and practice on as key to its expansion in 2016.

Last Man Standing winner!

We have a winner in Last Man Standing – just in time for the winter break! Congrats to Conor Duffin who opted for Manchester City this weekend.
 
The failings of Everton, Liverpool, Man Utd and Spurs to record a win took down the last survivors.
 
Last Man Standing returns in mid January. Our thanks to everyone for taking part!

Rocks battle bravely at Lansdowne – Over 30s end year unbeaten in league

  • Grogan “extremely proud” after courageous showing at Lansdowne
  • Over 30s end the year unbeaten in the league throughout 2015
  • Rocks 1960 stay top of Metro 2 after win against Beyond FC

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Kevin Grogan described himself as “extremely proud” of his Shamrocks side after they succumbed 1-0 to Lansdowne on Saturday night in the Irish Derby at Tibbett’s Brook Park.

The Rocks were reduced to ten men after just 20 minutes after an Anthony Grant goal but never gave up and threatened to sneak a draw thought an exciting second half played in a great spirit.

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Captains Darren Freeman and Sean Kelly pictured with the referee prior to the Irish Derby on Saturday night. Picture: John Riordan

“It was a very competitive game and I’m extremely proud of how our players conducted themselves against the league champions,” said Grogan.

“The game was played in a professional manner by both teams. We have personal goals for the season and we are getting better all the time.

“We are a new squad in the top league after a 10-year absence. Every game is a learning curve for our players.”

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Captain Darren Freeman firing up the team huddle before the Irish Derby on Saturday night. Picture: John Riordan

Meanwhile, the weakened Rocks reserves who were missing several key players pushed their opponents well but eventually lost 3-1.

Mustafa Alobeidy’s first half goal drew the teams level at 1-1, his first for the club since joining in November.

Meanwhile on Sunday, the Over 30s rounded out a banner year with a 10-0 win against Megas Alexandros at Randall’s Island.

The victory meant that Paddy Mc Carry’s CSL champions went unbeaten in the league throughout 2015, recording 16 wins and just one draw.

It was a farewell game to Danny Parkin who moves to Texas after 18 superb months at the club. We wish him all the best.

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Club President Sean Mc Mullan bidding farewell to Danny Parkin who has spent 18 superb months at the club. Picture: John Riordan

“A superb achievement,” said Mc Carry. “We have put together a great squad and we’re playing excellent football. It’s a credit to the players for how well they have applied themselves in every game.

“I want to pay special tribute to Danny Parkin who was excellent throughout his time here. His contribution won’t be forgotten!”

The win over Megas inevitably brought with it another Sean Riley hat trick which began with a superb volley to make it 1-0 after 10 minutes.

An Alex Berne header two minutes later was followed by goals from Shawn Baron and Tayfun Gokmen to make it 4-0 at the break.

The Rocks never relented and Paddy Geraghty headed home from a brilliant Gokmen corner after 55 minutes and then the roles were reversed ten minutes later when Gokmen finished well after a Geraghty pass.

Berne scored his second with 70 minutes elapsed and then Riley scored a quick brace, the first of which was a brilliant lob from the halfway line.

Geraghty made it 10-0 with ten minutes to go to complete the tenth win of the season, one that assures a six-point lead at the top of the league going into Spring.

Rocks 1960 will also be leaders when action resumes thanks to their 4-0 win in their Metro 2 win over Beyond Metro.

Dave Harvey’s brilliant first half free settled the Rocks who took some time to control the game.

Goalkeeper Nick Meola set up his brother Dan to make it 2-0 early in the second half and goals from Hughie McGowan and Ciaran Moloney saw out the victory.

“We’re looking forward to resuming as league leaders,” said assistant coach Neil Mannion.

“We’ll enjoy the break but we’ll be very keen to push on from here because there are plenty tough games ahead.”

Elsewhere on Sunday, the Legends were beaten 5-1 by league leading Cozmos in Brooklyn.

Paddy Geraghty – who was playing in his third game in less than 24 hours – scored an excellent goal in the first half to take the lead but the class of Cozmos shone through as they dominated the second half against a threadbare Legends side which lost Ger Shivnan to injury before half-time.

“The guys gave everything today against the best team in the league ,” said assistant coach Eoin Sweeney. “Ultimately we want to beat these teams. And we are headed in the right direction.”

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