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Pat Murphy/SPORTSFILE Cabinteely's Rob Maloney (right) and Graham Doyle of Wexford Youths.
# Newcomers
'If you said 7 or 8 years ago that we would have a LOI team, we'd have laughed'
Cabinteely chairman Pearse Toal says the SSE Airtricity League new boys aren’t looking behind the next 12 months.

THE SSE AIRTRICITY LEAGUE’S newest member takes its first steps in senior football when Cabinteely host Wexford Youths on Friday night.

Stradbrook, owned by Blackrock Rugby Club, will be the home ground of the South Dublin club — who gained the First Division licence vacated by Shamrock Rovers ‘B’ team for the 2015 season.

Experienced manager Eddie Gormley has been tasked with assembling a youthful squad in a very short space of time and the players have been getting to know each other in recent weeks during pre-season training and friendly defeats to St Patrick’s Athletic (6-0) and Bohemians (3-0).

Ahead of their debut campaign, club chairman Pearse Toal says the immediate aim is to focus on going about their business in the right way in order to secure their long-term status.

“Firstly, we see ourselves staying in the league,” Toal told The42. “That is obviously key. The first year is all about getting everything in place and consolidating our position.

“It’s about getting the events run properly, the team set up and the finances in place.So we’re not looking past the next 12 months at the moment.

“We have a very strong youth section that is feeding players which we hope will help the team on an ongoing basis. There is a little bit of a gap between the First Division team and our U17s but over the next couple of years we hope that the player pathway will deliver players and strengthen our team.

“That was the whole rationale behind it. If you said to us seven or eight years ago that we would have a League of Ireland team, we’d have laughed. But the structures we put in place have led us to this as the next natural step.”

Eddie Gormley Donall Farmer / INPHO Manager Eddie Gormley. Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

Cabinteely’s arrival has been met with criticism from some quarters, who question whether they have the resources to fund a competitive team. Others argue that the league could do without yet another Dublin club.

Toal insists that isn’t their problem and adds that he is optimistic of capturing the imagination of football fans in the local community.

“We hope that with 1,000 members, 2,000 parents, siblings and grandparents, that we will get support but it’s League of Ireland football in the area so hopefully we can generate more support that just our members.

“It is exciting times and if people get behind our adventure, all the better.”

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