Seatown FC recently played their last game in the Dundalk Schoolboys League, bringing down the curtain ón 26-years of memories.
Formed in 1985 by Sean Boland, David Coburn and Brian McGuinness, Seatown entered four teams in Dundalk Schoolboys League in 1986 with the first training sessions held in St Helena’s Park and in St Leonard’s Garden in the Seatown area.
The club got use of the middle area in the Greyhound Stadium on the Ramparts for their home pitch in 1987 and a year later they had eight teams running, including two U12 teams, one of which was Baile Na trá.
In 1992, at their peak, Seatown had 10 teams in the Dundalk Schoolboys League, a senior team in the Dundalk Summer League and an Over 35 team. There was also had a ladies team in 1992, Sharon Corr was one of the players.
In the mid 90s Spainish students who stayed in the Seatown area for part of the summer played with Seatown teams. The students were brought over every year to learn English by Valley twins Declan and Finbar Matthews who both live in La Coruna. The twins would be on the sidelines shouting instructions in Spanish to the boys, happy days.
Seatown FC produced their own newsletter “The Seatowner” which ran for 37 issues between 1988 to 1995. In each publication there was a wealth of information on the Seatown teams and everything that was going on in the Seatown area at that time.
Seatown always tried to keep teams in the National Cup for as long as possible. In 2001 Seatown U16s were beaten 4-2 by Cartron United from Sligo in the quarter final of the National Cup in Bellew Park. Cartron went on to win the National Cup outright that year.
In 2009 Seatown U15s beat Charleville FC in the last 32 also in Bellew Park. Charleville FC were the outright winners of the U14 National Cup in 2008. Seatown were eventually beaten away to Westport United in a penalty shoot-out in the last 16.
This season Seatown U18s reached the last 16 of the FAI Youth Cup but were beaten 2-1 by Wexford Youths – who have since qualified for the final - in Oriel Park. It was a terrific achievement for Seatown. Nine of the Wexford starting 11 play for the club’s League of Ireland U19 team.
Seatown’s most successful team was probably the class of 2010 who won the “treble” of league and cup in the Dundalk Schoolboys League and the Copa Adriatico Cup in Rimini in Italy.
Seatown teams have made many friends abroad over the past 10 years thanks to taking part in tournaments in Holland, Belgium, Spain, Florida USA and in Sweden. The present and final Seatown U18 team will travel to the Gothia Cup in Sweden again this July.
Nearly all of the funds raised to operate the Seatown teams over the years and to travel to the tournaments was earned by the players bag-packing in the local supermarkets in Dundalk.
Over the past 10 years, Seatown teams have seen the welcome addition of many non national players. Some of these players have been living in Dundalk longer now than in the country they were born and without them Seatown would probably have finished some five years earlier.
Several thousand players have played with Seatown in the Dundalk Schoolboys League over the past 26 years.
Paul Murphy was transfered to Leeds United in 2001 and went on to play with the Dundalk FC senior team while current Dundalk FC player Ben McLaughlin started his playing carreer with Seatown and Louth GAA star Shane Lennon has two league medals from the four seasons he played with the club.
Many players and coaches from Seatown have represented Dundalk teams in the Milk Cup and Kennedy Cup teams with the Dundalk Schoolboys League representative squads over the past 26 years.
The following is a list of some of the many great Seatown men that gave up their free time over the years to coach and manage the Seatown FC schoolboys teams.
Peadar Mackin, Liam Gaynor, Gerard (Jasper) McDonnell, Frank McDonnell, David Coburn, Sean Boland, Jody Boland, Pat Boland, Paddy Boland, Liam O’Neill, Brian Coogan, Dessie Hanks, Paul Roddy, Paddy Lennon, Tiernan Mallon, Aidan Matthews, Dessie Corbett, Thomas Flynn, Tom Gilsenan, Edwin de Roever, Brian O’Shaughnessy, Benny O’Shaughnessy, Peter McDermott, Frank Martin (RIP), Frank Brennan, Ray Pearson, Ciaran Warnock, Jim Warnock, Jimmy Hearty, Tommy Traynor, Colm Coburn and Sean Quinn.
A game was played every St Stephen’s Day for many years involving all the managers to raise funds to send sick children to Lourdes and for the Irish Cancer Society.
When the Dundalk Greyhound Stadium closed its gates at the Ramparts 10 years ago the number of Seatown teams competing in the Dundalk Schoolboys League began to dwindle.
Seatown FC tried to get a pitch at the new greyhound stadium and many times tried unsuccessfully to get some land off the council. They also tried to get the use of the Marist fields and the Fairgreen but were unsuccessful and the lack of having no base is probably the real reason Seatown do not have any more teams in the Dundalk Schoolboys League.
Their absence will be felt by many in the local footballing community.