Lions AFC were formed in 1970, initially comprising of male adults team. A second adult team was added in 1973 and the clubs first schoolboy team was formed in 1983. In 2002 the club took its first steps towards developing ladies soccer in the town by being one of the five clubs to found the Kilkenny Ladies Soccer League, entering an U16 team. Club teams have consistently challenged for trophies at all levels as the roll of honours list below illustrates.
Photo: Lions AFC
The club’s first team has competed in the top division of the Kilkenny and District League in all but five of it’s forty two years history and in 2003 were Premier Division League and Shield Champions. The club originally played on rented farmland at Tubberboe, Durrow. In 1980, the club moved to it’s present grounds, renting four and a half acres of lands within the town boundaries at cork road, Durrow. As these grounds were ideally situated, especially as regards access by younger players, the club purchased this land in 1991 and in 1998, with the help of funding from the proceeds of the National Lottery, the club built a clubhouse, consisting of two dressing rooms, a referees room, showers, a meeting room and public toilets.
In 2005 the club embarked on its biggest project yet. The development of an all weather playing and training grounds. This facility, a 45m X 32m all weather training area was completed in December 2005 and is available to all club teams. It is also available to hire. Hourly rates are full pitch €50, and half pitch €30. With the continuing growth in soccer, the Lions provide a valuable outlet for sports in Durrow. It is envisaged that more parents will get involved with the club in the coming years.
Since 2006 we have had a large increase in our number of schoolboy and schoolgirl teams. We now have a separate sub-committee set up to deal with all our new members. We cater for all ages from U8′s right through to U16′s and youths teams, which will hopefully supply our junior teams in years to come. All these extra teams require lots of work so its great to see so many coaches and helpers volunteer their time to work with the kids.
We’ve also had success on the field as well with our U12 boys team recently winning their league and they were unlucky to lose a cup final on penalties. Our two junior teams are still going strong with our A-Team returning to the premier league at the end of the 2010/11 season. We have fielded a youths team again after a couple of years without one. With plenty of schoolboy’s teams to feed our youths and with plenty of youths to supply our two junior teams the future is looking good so there is no fear of our facilities not being put to good use.
Lions AFC Roll of Honours:
1973/74 McCalmont Cup Winners
1977/78 McCalmont Cup Runners Up and Maher Shield Runners Up
1978/79 Maher Shield Runners Up
1978/79 Premier Division Player of the Year (Jimmy McCormack)
1979/80 Maher Shield Runners Up
1979/80 Premier Division Player of the Year (Jimmy McCormack)
1979/80 Premier Division League Runners Up
1981/82 Premier Divisional Cup Winners
1982/83 Premier Division League Runners Up
1986/87 Division 1 Cup Runners Up
1993/94 FAI Junior Cup Area Winners
1994/95 McCalmont Cup Runners Up
1995/96 Division 1 League Winners
2000/01 Maher Shield Runners Up
2001/02 Final 16 of Leinster Junior Cup
2001/02 Final 16 of FAI Junior Cup
2002/03 Premier Division League Champions
2002/03 Shield Champions
2006/07 McCalmont Cup Winners
2010/11 Division 1 Cup Champions
2010/11 Maher Shield Runners Up
1975/76 Division 3 League Runners Up
1981/82 Division 3 League Runners Up
1996/97 Division 4 Player of the Year (Phillip Monnelly)
1996/97 Division 4 League Winners
1998/99 Division 3 Cup Winners
1998/99 Division 3 League Runners Up
2001/02 Division 2B League Runners Up
1976/77 Cup Runners Up
1987/88 League Winners and Shield Winners
1989/90 Cup Runners Up
2000/01 League Winners
2001/02 League Runners Up
1984/85 U15 Cup Winners and League Runners Up
1984/85 U15 Player of the Year (Robert Dempsey)
1990/91 U14 League Runners Up
1990/91 U14 and U16 Cup Winners
1990/91 U16 League Runners Up
1990/91 U16 Plyr of the Year (Conor Murphy)
1996/97 U16 League Winners
2001/02 U10 Division 2 league Winners
2002/03 U14 Division 2 League Winners
2011/12 U12 League Champions
Phone: Kevin Donaghue (085) 7221575.
Address: Castle Grounds, Cork Road, Durrow, Co. Laois.