Shamrocks set summer date with Manchester Legends XI

A Manchester United Legends XI will visit New York next summer to take on a selection of NY Shamrocks Legends in a historic fundraiser for the Queens-based soccer club.

This thrilling once-in-a-lifetime event will double up as the annual Robbie Walsh Memorial Exhibition Game and will take place on Saturday June 22, 2019 at Gaelic Park.

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Shamrocks technical director Kevin Grogan, club president Teresa Brink and committee member, Paddy Geraghty, who were pictured this past weekend at the Courtyard Ale House, sponsor of the Shamrocks Soccer Club, as they launched the 2019 Robbie Walsh Memorial Exhibition Game. Picture credit: John Riordan

There will also be an exciting curtain raiser with a League of Ireland Legends selection coming to town to play a Shamrocks Over 30s line-up.

The double header in the Bronx will be followed by a banquet in Queens which will gather together all club members and supporters for an evening of season awards and entertainment.

Welcoming the announcement, Shamrocks club president Teresa Brink said, “We are very proud to welcome former Manchester United players to take part in the Robbie Walsh Memorial Exhibition Game next summer. It should be a really historic day.

“Robbie was a big Manchester Utd fan and so it will be a huge honor for our club to put on this event in his memory. We are all looking forward to the day and we are very much committed to making it an occasion to remember.”

Paddy Geraghty, who has steered the 2019 Robbie Walsh Memorial Exhibition Game Committee, paid tribute to everyone who had worked with him to make the event a possibility.

“Our current crop of Shamrocks Legends will welcome some former Legends back to pull on the jersey one more time,” said Geraghty.

“They’ll have the opportunity to play against their heroes and in some cases, join them as guest players for Manchester United. We will announce full details in the coming months including the Manchester United Legends team, ticket information, sponsorship opportunities, and special events that will run all weekend.

“We would like to thanks Colin Telford and Tony Browne at Legends XI for making the event possible, Manhattan College for the use of Gaelic Park, and the Shamrock’s Committee for all their hard work behind the scenes.”

The Shamrocks first team coach and technical director Kevin Grogan, who began his professional football career at Manchester United in the mid 1990s, said he was looking forward to the historic event.

“Obviously Manchester United has a spot in my heart from my playing days,” said Grogan. “It’s a club with an amazing history and it’s fitting they are coming over to play the NY Shamrocks who also have an amazing history. Two great clubs playing in a great city.”

Robbie Walsh was a former Shamrocks stalwart who, as captain, led the Rocks to back-to-back CSL League Cup victories, and, as coach, helped keep them together in hard times. Walsh, a County Kildare native, died in Queens in November 2016. He was 44.

Meanwhile, the Shamrocks first team bowed out of the Manning Cup after a 2-0 loss to Pancyrpians at St John’s.

“It was a good effort by our players,” said Grogan. “I cant knock their dedication to the cause. All focus now on our massive league game next week against CPR.”

The reserves team won 2-1 against NYAC after a last minute winner from James Hudson secured the win after Joey Aronovsky had opened the scoring.”

Mixed Luck of the Shamrocks on St. Patrick’s Weekend

It was a tough night for the Shamrocks first team who succumbed to a 2-1 defeat
against the Pancyprians in spite of a bright start and a battling second half performance
at Randall’s #74 on Saturday night. For the second time in just over a month,
Pancyprians fell behind to an impressive Abou Kaba goal but this time a brilliant counter
attacking display edged it for the men in blue.

“We worked extremely hard, said Kevin Grogan. “We had our fair share of chances but
didn’t finish on the night. Very proud of the effort. We regroup and move onto a massive
game against Doxa this weekend.”

In the warm-up to the main feature, the Shamrocks reserves had to face plenty of chills
on an unforgivingly cold night on Randall’s. Despite the inclement conditions, the
distracting lure of being kissed for being Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, and the fact that they
had only one day’s rest from Thursday night’s cup game, Meola’s merry men put on
another fine display to see off Pancyprians’ reserves with a 4-1 win.

The Pancyprians faced a slaughter, quite literally, with goals from Larry Slaughter on
either side of the half. The reserves spent little time dwelling on a Pancyprian rally in the
second half by responding quickly to a fortunate visitors’ goal with two more of their
own. The ever incisive Joey Aronovsky added to his season’s tally, while Junior Elleston
contributed with his first for the Rocks. This win keeps pressure on Lansdowne Bhoys,
who will be harried and chased for the top spot by the Rocks in the weeks to come.
The pressure of holding up the rest of the league appears to have caused some cracks
(and little craic) in the usually indomnitable spirit of the 1960s. With a large part of Andy
Connolly’s squad absent due to a temporary outburst of collective hysteria, the
remaining players assembled defiantly on Sunday to earn a draw that takes them off the
bottom of the table. Playing against a strong wind in a first half that they dominated, the
Shamrocks were unlucky to go in 1-0 at half-time following a sloppy goal for visitors,
NYC Metro Stars.

With the wind in their sails and the windy verbosity of Connolly ringing in their ears, the
1960s took the game right to their opponents at the re-start. However, an early second
half goal from Junior Elleston was not matched by further scores, despite a number of
good chances being provided by wonderful deep passes from the likes of Eamon
Fitzgerald and Amar Daved. Nevertheless, the draw is a positive result and will be
something to build on for the 1960s as they face the fight of their lives in the second half
of the season.

“I heard of drowning the shamrock on St. Patrick’s day, but trying to drown your fellow
Shamrocks by not turning up for a game is not on,” said a highly irate Connolly in
response to players who abandoned their obligations for other ports of call. “I’m very
proud of those who were there. They played like real men, every last one of them.
Braden, who had a bad cold, showed just why he’s been with this club for so long, while

Mick, aged 36 and who has knees made of glass, was a wee terrier once more. Ryan
McKinley was a monster in goals, Amar was just a pleasure to watch as usual, Anthony
was a leader in defence, Joe Connolly worked his socks off, and Dan did his usual
terror-attacks on the opponents’ defense. Eamon, our man of the match, was an all-
round giant. I want to be around players like these every week.”

‘Rocks to honor stalwart Shevlin

For over 20 years, David ‘Shevlin devoted his life to the NY Shamrocks Soccer Club. Former Rocks player Joe Behan spoke to the great man for the March 29 edition of the Irish Echo.

The NY Shamrocks Soccer Club will honor long time former club president David “Scotty” Shevlin at their End of Season Awards Banquet at the Astoria Manor on Saturday, June 24.

(You can sign up here to attend the event or sponsor our journal)

The popular figure beloved by everyone who played during his tenure remains a great supporter of the club and was delighted to accept the invitation from the Shamrocks Banquet Committee chairperson Aoife West.

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Former Shamrocks Soccer Club President David ‘Scotty’ Shevlin, center, pictured with his fellow committee members Eltin Coleman, left, and Johner Guildea over the weekend at the New York Athletic Club’s Travers Island location. They are holding a copy of the club’s 50th Anniversary book, “The Green Side of the Apple.” Picture by Dennis Schneidler

Born in Scotland and a veteran of the Vietnam War, Shevlin, affectionately known as “Scotty,” was president of the Queens based soccer club from 1989 to 2011, showing an unprecedented dedication to the cause as they rode through good times and bad.

During his playing days, Shevlin lined out for the Yonkers Thistles, the Brooklyn Celtics and the Swedes. However, his introduction to the Shamrocks started in 1988 while watching the Mercy College soccer team play in Dobbs Ferry.

“I got to know many of the players who also played for the Shamrocks,” recalled the Shamrock Legend this past week.

“It was a joy to get to know players like Paul Woodley, Denis Frawley. Robbie Kilbane, Paul Wilson and Owen Scully among others,” he said.

“They invited me to come watch some of their games on Sundays and of course I had no idea what would end up becoming of that!”‘

Always willing to put back into the game where he could, Shevlin also coached soccer at Dobbs Ferry High School where he was a physical education teacher.

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Scotty and Eltin making a guest appearance in the 1990s

It was not long before Shevlin got to know Andy Powell, Eltin Coleman and Mick Haley, soon to be friends and fellow committed club members who would guide him through the years of change to come.

“Scottie has a unique gentleness about him,” observed Haley. “His actions speak louder than his words.”

At a time when the club’s membership was as low as the morale and the number of willing players, the 1989 AGM ushered in the Shevlin era.

“I drew on my experience as a schoolteacher for many years and also as a Vietnam veteran. Discipline and organization was critical for the club to move forward,” he said.

“A big moment for me and the club was when Johner Guildea and Kevin McPartland came on board. That really helped push the club onwards,” he added.

Shamrocks 3-26-170142Former player and first team coach Guildea, who remains a particularly close friend of Shevlin told the Irish Echo this past week that the former president was. “Always very generous with his time and wisdom”.

It wasn’t all plain sailing during that time and tragedy struck in the spring of 2001 when the club’s former headquarters in Sunnyside, the very popular hostelry Stephen’s Green, was destroyed by fire.

“That was our home away from home,” recalled Shevlin.

“We lost playing gear, records and trophies. It forced us to move on and we were delighted and eternally thankful to the Courtyard Ale House for bringing us into the fold. That’s where the club is housed to this day,” he said.

Now happily retired, Scotty Shevlin is still heavily involved in athletics in Dobbs Ferry and keeps up with all Shamrock activities.

“We had a very memorable night in 2010 when over 350 attended the 50-Year Anniversary of the club’s foundation,” said Shevlin.

“I’m very much looking forward to seeing some old friends in June and it will be a true honor to be recognized by the current committee,” he said.

“The club is moving forward under the leadership of president Sean McMullan, head coach Kevin Grogan and all the coaches and committee members who do such great work.

“Great things are on the horizon for the club but June will also be a chance for me to commemorate all of our past members, especially our recently deceased friend Robbie Walsh.”

On the morning of the June 24 banquet, the first annual Robbie Walsh Memorial Exhibition Game will see two sets of Shamrocks Legends take each other on in what should be a very entertaining game! Location and time to be confirmed.

Kicks & Giggles 2 – Comedy Night Fundraiser

Kicks & Giggles is back and so is Maeve Higgins!

We’ll be at the Kent Ale House at 8pm on Tuesday January 31 with an amazing line-up of music and comedy hosted by Shamrocks Women’s team Player of the Year Sinéad Hennessy and also starring Rashad Bashir, Kerry Overfab Coddett and Jonathan McBride.

Music performed in the main room by club legend Tommy McPhilips – free and open to all.

All proceeds from comedy tickets and raffle sales will go to support the Shamrocks injury fund and the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust

For more information: NYShamrockSC@gmail.com

Click the poster to get your tickets for the comedy night which begins at 9pm in the back room!

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Robbie Walsh RIP

We are shocked and saddened by the untimely passing of our friend, player and coach, Robbie Walsh.

A true Shamrocks Legend, his service to this club will never be forgotten.

The thoughts of all our members are with his family and friends at this tragic time.

Rest In Peace Robbie.robbie-walsh