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Next Senior Women's Match: Sat,July 13th (A) crest
Next Senior Men's Match: Fri, July 19th (H) crest

Men’s International Round-Up

Following international call ups we welcome back Carl Mujaguzi and German Fuentes Rodriguez to the squad this week.

Carl on his maiden call-up for the Uganda national team made the bench for both friendlies against Ghana and Comoros. Speaking to athlonetownafc.ie “While I am disappointed not to play it was an honour to be called up for my country and be apart of the squad. Hopefully next time I get the chance to get my first cap and represent my country”. Uganda’s next International fixtures are world cup qualifiers against Botswana on June 3rd and Algeria on June 10th.

German received his second call-up for his country having been called up as an unused sub last September in CONCACAF Nations League A games for El Salvador.

A very proud moment happened for German when in the 76th minute of their game against the current world champions Argentina, he came on to get his first international cap gracing the same pitch with household names like Emiliano Martinez, Ángel Di Maria and Alexis Mac Allister.

Unfortunately, they were already losing 3-0 at this stage, but he helped close the door and forced Argentina into long range strikes with a few nice long range passes to help get El Salvador up the pitch and to lift the pressure on their defence.

Speaking to athlonetownafc.ie “What a proud moment it was for me to come on and get my first cap for my county and against the world champions, I could never have dreamed such a moment. They (Argentina) were pilling on the pressure in the final 15 minutes and it was hard work restricting them to long range but I felt we handled it well and we didn’t concede any more”.

German (pictured center) after the match against World Champions, Argentina.

German also got a full half against Bonaire a few days earlier but as Bonaire aren’t recognised by FIFA it wasn’t a capable match. They drew 1-1 after the El Salvador keeper had a howler letting a back pass go under his foot and it ended up in the back of the net.

El Salvador’s next international fixtures are World Cup qualifiers against Puerto Rico on June 3rd and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on June 9th.

Best of luck to both Carl and German and we hope to see them called up again for their respective World Cup qualifiers in June.

Men’s Match Preview: Cork City (A)

SSE Airtricity Men’s First Division: Cork City vs Athlone Town AFC
Date: March 29th, 2024
Kick-off: 7.45pm
Venue: Turner’s Cross, Cork

Having trailed 3-0 at half time Athlone showed fight and determination to come back and clinch a draw but face a difficult trip to Cork, who have a 100% record at home so far this season. Athlone who have scored the most goals in the league this season have a goal difference of -2 so there is room for improvement from The Town. (Don’t say it, Don’t say it…) Can Castelo’s side turn Good Friday into a Great Friday?

Dario Castelo stated, “There is no easy game in the league and a trip to Turner’s Cross is probably one of the most difficult. I hope we can show the fans what we can do against a great side.”

Team News

Athlone Town AFC Jamar Campion Hinds who is still sidelined with an injury but on the road to recovery. Noah Van Geenen is ruled out also. Dylan Hand returns from suspension. German Fuentes Rodriguez and Carl Mujaguzi return having been away on international duty. Amardo Oakley is suspended.

Past Encounters

Athlone have never really enjoyed playing Cork in Turner’s Cross. The last time we played there against City, we conceded six. But enough of that talk, the last time we played them we came from two goals down to win 3-2 so this tie could go either way.

Key Players to Watch

Athlone Town AFC, Dean Ebbe who dragged Athlone back into the game last week, has been great on his return to the club and has looked really exciting so far this season.

Cork City, Jack Doherty who recently signed for Cork sits top of the goal scoring charts this season. He is familiar to Athlone fans as he scored the only goal in Cobh’s 1-0 win on the run in last season. He will be a handful for the Athlone defence tonight.

Match Tickets
Tickets for the game can be purchased here.

Referee Team
Referee:
David Dunne
1st Assistant Referee: Ciaran O’Reilly
2nd Assistant Referee: Phillip Harrison
4th Official: Jason Moore

Match Report: Athlone Town AFC 3-3 Longford Town FC

Athlone Come From Three Down to Snatch a Draw

Football is full of clichés such as “goals win games”, “He’s scored too early”, “If it was on target, it would have been a goal” but the best one to describe El Classico tonight was “It was a game of two halves”.

It is difficult describe what happened in the first half, but we will try. With just four minutes on the clock Longford took the lead. A perfectly weighted Bastien Hery ball finding Adam Wixted between the Noah Van Geenen and Amardo Oakely. Former Athlone player Wixted calmly slotted the ball across Enda Mingoue for the lead.

Athlone grew into the game as the game went on and on 23 minutes Gideon Tetteth with Athlone’s first real shot on goal was always comfortable for Jack Brady.

Things would only get better for Longford who were very comfortable in possession and finding “Acres of Space”. From a corner on the left hand side, Wixted crossed the ball and Oisin Hand rose to head home and double the Longford lead.

Just before the half time whistle Longford added a third and it seemed to be game over as the corner from Hery was turned into his own net by Jarlet Jones and it seemed that was that. Athlone seemed despondent as they walked in at halftime and some of the crowd had seen enough.

Athlone started the Second half brightly but with no real end product and it was Longford who had the first real opening on the 53rd minute where Chris Lyons and Wixted combined well but it was cleared by the Athlone defence.

Dean Ebbe grabbed hold of the game and in the 60th minute he got one back for Athlone when former Athlone player Dean O Shea slipped allowing Ebbe to smash the ball home and give Athlone a lifeline.

With 70 minutes on the clock Ebbe pounced to get his and The Town’s second after a Jamal Ibrahim shot was saved by Brady the ball fell to Ebbe to guide it home and it was game on.

6 minutes later Shane Forbes who was introduced at the 45 minutes mark picked up the ball and drove at the heart of the Longford defence and slid in Ibrahim who made no mistake and found the back of the net and it was 3-3.

It was Athlone who were now in charge, and will probably disappointed not to be in front when Brian Torre found Ebbe who shot low but it was well saved by Brady. Athlone were reduced to 10 men when Oakley was sent off for a second yellow card after a reckless challenge.

Ten-man Athlone held on and will be happy with their second half performance but Longford will be looking at this as two points dropped.

AthloneTownAFC.ie spoke to Aaron Connolly after the game and asked his thoughts on tonights game. “We knew it wasn’t good enough in the first half and it’s been like that the last couple of weeks. We know we’re a better team than what we’re showing so at half-time we decided as a group to get back to the basics and try do them well. I think we did that and showed a bit of character which will give us confidence going down to Cork next week.”

Following match day six this result moves Athlone to fifth Longford still sit at the foot in the table but with three games less played than most other teams.


Athlone Town AFC: Enda Minogue, Jarlath Jones, Noah van Geenen (Abdul Barrie 72’), Daniel McKenna, Ruban Candal (Oisin Duffy 88’), Aaron Connolly ©, Dean Ebbe, Amardo Oakley, Jamal Ibrahim (Divine Izekor 79’), Gideon Tette (Shane Forbes 45’), Brian Torre

Unused Substitutes: Andrew Stuart Trainor, Dylan Gavin, Renei Batlokwa, Matthew Leal, Roscoe Rubinstein

Bookings: Oakley (33)(86), Barrie (91)

Sending Off: Oakley (86)

Attendance: 791

AthloneTownAFC.ie Man of The Match: Dean Ebbe

Match Preview: v Longford Town

SSE Airtricity Men’s First Division: Athlone Town AFC vs Longford Town

Date: March 22nd 2024

Kick-off: 7.45pm

Venue: Athlone Town Stadium

Longford have had three games fall foul to the weather so far this season. They will eagerly look forward to the kick-off and kick start their season.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of this much-anticipated match.

Longford have come out on the wrong side of their two games this season and will be looking to get their season started ahead of a hectic two weeks.

Athlone have been hit and miss in their games this season, but we hope to see the Athlone we saw in the first game of the season with the exciting attacking play. International call ups and injuries have caused problems this week for the manager, but we are hopeful the front three will continue to excite and cause problems for teams.

Dario Castelo stated, “It is in difficult times that you see the strength of the Athlone Town family and fans and the character of the professionals, from the players, coaches, and staff. All together and united this Friday night for another important game.”

Team News

Athlone Town AFC will be without Jamar Campion Hinds who is still sidelined with an injury but on the road to recovery. Noah Van Geenen is doubtful having missed out the last two games with injury. Our centre back options are limited as Dylan Hand is suspended and German Fuentes Rodriguez is away on international duty as well as Carl Mujaguzi.

Past Encounters

El Clasico seldom fails to entertain with Pierrot announcing himself last year in style and then getting an early bath for his trouble, to his wonderful goal in Longford last year in added time to settle the tie. The game in Athlone in June was the most eventful with Athlone winning 1-0 but the game saw the match referee produce the red card on four occasions, all justified to be fair.

Key Players to Watch

Athlone Town AFC, Ruben Candal has been great on his return to fitness and has looked really exciting so far.

Longford Town, Chris Lyons brings a wealth of experience to their club as he has more than 300 League of Ireland games under his belt scoring 74 times and is expected to be their danger man tonight.

Match Tickets
Tickets for the game can be purchased here.

Referee Team
Referee:
Chris Sheehan
1st Assistant Referee: Conor Fitzgibbon
2nd Assistant Referee: Aaron Pisarnik
4th Official: Robert Dowling

One Hundred Years On: ATAFC FAI Cup Success

One hundred years ago today, Athlone Town AFC won it’s first major honour.

March 17th, 1924. Back then, the competition was named the Free State Cup, which served as the precursor to the FAI Cup. Athlone’s opponents in the final at Dalymount Park were the Cork-based team Fordsons, affiliated with the Fordson tractor plant located in Cork.

It was a somewhat unusual matchup considering it was only the third cup final, but both teams had earned their place in the showcase event of club football in the country. Athlone had defeated Midland Athletic, Shelbourne FC then Bohemian FC on their path to the final.

At that time, the League of Ireland was just three years old, having emerged as a breakaway from the Belfast-based Irish Football Association (IFA). Previously, the IFA had overseen the sport throughout the 32 counties.

Athlone initially entered the Free State Cup as a junior, non-league team during the 1921/22 season, later transitioning to become members of the Free State League in the subsequent season.

The football history of Cork is rich with numerous clubs, but at that time, Fordsons stood out as the dominant force in Munster football. They had reached the semi-finals of the cup in 1922/23 and claimed victory in the 1926 final. However, like many Cork-based teams, they underwent a transformation into Cork FC in 1930 after Ford withdrew their support for a League of Ireland team.

Athlone’s journey in the cup commenced with a first round 2-0 victory at home to another now-defunct league team, Midland Athletic. This team sourced its players from the ranks of the Midland and Great Western Railway, which were based in Dublin.

Athlone’s victory earned them a spot in the quarter-finals, where they faced Shelbourne, who had narrowly missed out on the league title to Bohemians. In a match witnessed by over 5,000 spectators at Shelbourne Park in Ringsend, Athlone pulled off a surprising 2-0 win. Goals from Jim Kennedy and the agile Frank Ghent secured the victory, supported by a standout performance from goalkeeper Paddy O’Reilly.

Next up was the semi-final against league champions Bohemians, once again at Shelbourne Park. The match was a hard-fought, intense battle that ended in a scoreless draw, leading to a replay at the same venue on March 1st, 1924.

This time, a crowd of over 9,000 spectators watched as Athlone once again emerged victorious at Shelbourne Park, stunning the Bohemians side. An early defensive error led to Frank Ghent capitalizing on a loose ball, putting Athlone in the lead after just 12 minutes. Throughout the match, Athlone endured relentless pressure from Bohemians, with only resilient defending and remarkable saves from O’Reilly keeping the Dubliners from equalizing. However, as the game progressed, Athlone began to regain momentum and threatened the Bohemians’ goal once more in the final quarter. With just seven minutes remaining, Athlone’s Norman Lyster secured the crucial second goal, sending the sizable Athlone crowd into a frenzy of celebration.

The Evening Mail rather stiffly remarked: “The big Athlone following almost got out of hand when the second goal was scored but the stewards dealt with the incident.”

The Town were now set for a date with destiny in the cup final on March 17th at Dalymount Park. Their opponents were Fordsons, who had received a bye in the opening round and had subsequently defeated league teams Jacobs and St James’s Gate.

The final drew an estimated crowd of about 20,000, with spectators overflowing onto the pitchside around both goals and along the sidelines.

Athlone’s lineup was as follows: Paddy O’Reilly(GK), Joe Monahan, James Hope, Terry Judge, John Joe Dykes, Tommy Muldoon, Norman Lyster, Denis Hannon, Jim Sweeney (C), Tommy Collins and Frank Ghent.

Monahan, Muldoon, Lyster, Hannon, Sweeney, and Ghent hailed from Athlone. Collins originated from Moate, while Hope and Judge represented Mullingar. Dykes, originally from Sligo, and O’Reilly, a Dubliner, were the sole players from outside Westmeath on the team.

Athlone utilized their favored playing style, characterized by resolute defending, high and long clearances, along with intense, fast-paced pressure and swift counterattacks.

The tactics had proven successful in unsettling the composed Shelbourne and Bohemians outfits previously, and it similarly dumbfounded the Cork side. According to one newspaper, the Cork team was “bewildered” by Athlone’s tactics.

Despite Athlone’s dominance throughout the match, the golden goal arrived on the 20-minute mark. Hannon capitalized on a loose ball, following Jim Sweeney’s blocked effort, and swiftly found the net.

Captain Sweeney was presented with the trophy after the match, marking the first ever major trophy success for the club.

Ninety-nine years later, our senior women’s team would go on the same journey to glory and write their own names into the history books.

Two ATAFC Players Receive International Call-ups

Congratulations to Carl Mujaguzi and German Fuentes Rodriguez who have been selected for their countries upcoming international fixtures!

Swedish-raised Carl has recieved his maiden call-up to the country of his birth, Uganda ahead of their international friendlies with Ghana and Comoros. Both games will take place in Morocco on March 22nd and 26th in the city of Marrakech.

German has been called up for his nation’s friendlies in America. El Salvador will play Bonaire in Washington on March 20th, Argentina in Philadelphia on March 22nd, and Honduras in Houston on March 26th.

Best of luck to both players who will be representing the club on the international stage!

Match Report: ATAFC 1-1 Kerry FC

Hand Saves Athlone Blushes

Are Kerry starting to become a bogey team for Athlone? The team from the Kingdom love the trip to the midlands.

Athlone made one change from the Finn Harps defeat with Gideon Tetteh coming in for Noah van Geenen. Both teams enjoyed lots of spells on the ball but there was very little goal mouth action to warm the fans on a cold evening in Athlone Town Stadium. In the first half there was very little chances to speak about but Athlone came close to breaking the dead lock when Dean Ebbe saw his header from Connolly’s right wing cross just miss the target.

There were no changes at halftime but Kerry had become more attacking at Okwuy Okwute opened the scoring for the visitors when he struck a wonderful shot from the right of the penalty area which gave Minogue no chance in the Athlone goal, 55 Mins in and Kerry were 1-0 up.

Athlone levelled from the corner of the half after 72 minutes when Dylan Hand flicked McKenna’s delivery over the keeper. Athlone attacked a lot more in the final few minutes but Kerry held out to gain their first point of the season.

Following matchday four, this sees Athlone stay fourth and moves Kerry to ninth in the table.

Athlone Town AFC: Enda Minogue, German Fuentes Rodriguez, Jarlath Jones (Ruben Candal 58’), Gideon Tetteh (Dylan Gavin 76’), Daniel McKenna, Dylan Hand, Aaron Connolly (C), Dean Ebbe, Carl Mujaguzi (Shane Forbes 58’), Amardo Oakley, Jamal Ibrahim (Brian Torre 58’)

Unused Substitutes: Andrew Stuart Trainor, Noah van Geenen, Oisin Duffy, Devine Izekor, Roscoe Rubinstein

Bookings: Connolly (78′)

Attendance: 786

AthloneTownAFC.ie Man of The Match: Dylan Hand

Match Preview: v Kerry FC

SSE Airtricity League Men’s First Division: Athlone Town AFC v Kerry FC

Date: March 8th, 2024

Kick-off: 7.45pm

Venue: Athlone Town Stadium

Can Kerry repeat what they done last May and add to their solitary victory in Senior Football? Conor McCarty will hope so.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of this week’s match.

Kerry were very impressive on Monday against Treaty United and were victorious, running out 4-1 winners in the Munster Senior Cup. They have really strengthened in the off season and will be a lot more difficult to defeat this season.

Athlone have played well against Wexford but struggled on the road in the last couple of weeks. They will hope to get back to winning ways after finding themselves sliding down the table in recent weeks.

Team News

Athlone Town AFC will be without Jamar Campion Hinds who is still sidelined with an injury. Noah Van Geenen was substituted at half time in Finn Park but that was tactical and is available for selection. Ruben Candal is nearing match fitness and may be due to start this week.

Kerry FC will be without Valerii Dolia who is yet to make his debut, but Jack Kavanagh is expected to return. Nathan Gleeson is available following a one-match suspension for his red card against Bray Wanderers.

Past Encounters

On May 12th last year, Kerry FC picked up their first-ever win in League of Ireland history by beating Athlone. It was no fluke and Kerry were great value for their win last season.

Key Players to Watch

Athlone Town AFC, Dean Ebbe has been enjoyed a great start to his return season with Athlone. He will hope to continue his good form and help Athlone return to winning ways.

Kerry FC forward Victor Udeze has been excellent since moving to the Kingdom and Athlone Town defence will have their hands full with the quick striker.

Match Tickets
Tickets for the game can be purchased by clicking here.

Referee Team
Referee:
Ian O’Keeffe
1st Assistant Referee: Michelle O’Neill
2nd Assistant Referee: Ryan Maher
4th Official: Daryl Carolan

Match Report: Finn Harps 2-0 ATAFC

Harps Find Success

Athlone continue to find the trip to Finn Park a tricky fixture. With a lot of games falling foul of the weather it will be the Harps fans who will be the happier with how this game played out.

Both teams certainly have an attractive style of play and Athlone being positive were trying to play out from the back. Enda Minogue played the ball to Dylan Hand who was immediately pressed by Success Edgon just outside the 18-yard box. Hand looked for Aaron Connolly near the half line, but the Finn Harps press was very good, and they nicked the ball back. The interception found its was to Edgon who crossed from the right first time to find Stephen Doherty in space who turned the ball home.

Finn Harps thought they doubled their lead in the 28th minute following a cross from the right-hand side saw a mix up between Fuentes Rodriguez and Minogue in goal but the ball was cleared off the line much to the relief of the Athlone back line. Van Geenen thought had had Athlone level in the 37th minute when at the back post he was found by a Dylan Hand flick on but he shot narrowly over.

Just before the half time whistle Harps did double their lead. From a Tony McNamee free kick on the right-hand side, he floated a ball into Jamie Watson whose miss control fell kindly to an unmarked Edgon who drilled the ball home from 12 yards out to make it 2-0.

Athlone started the Second half brightly and in the 50th minute substitute Gideon Tetteh found a bit of space on the right-hand side and showed great feet to dig out a cross and found Connolly in the box whose header hit the bar and went over.

On the 83rd minute, a long ball by German Fuentes Rodriguez over the top gave Dean Ebbe something to chase and with the ball there to be won he slide but collided with Harps keeper Tim-Oliver Hiemer and the referee duly showed him a yellow card. Harps managed the second half well and held on for the clean sheet and three points.

Athlone will be happy with their second half performance but will be looking at 5 points dropped rather than 4 points gained this campaign.

Following match day three this result drops Athlone to fourth and propels Harps to second in the table.

Athlone Town AFC: Enda Minogue, German Fuentes Rodriguez, Jarlath Jones (Oisin Duffy 56’), Noah van Geenen (Gideon Tette 45’), Daniel McKenna (Ruban Candal 86’), Dylan Hand, Aaron Connolly (C), Dean Ebbe, Carl Mujaguzi, Amardo Oakley, Jamal Ibrahim (Dylan Gavin 56’)            

Unused Substitutes: Andrew Stuart Trainor, Shane Forbes, Brian Torre, Matthew Leal, Abdul Barrie

Bookings: Jones (42′), van Geenen (45′), Ebbe (85′) Fuentes Rodriguez (98′)

Attendance: 1,527

AthloneTownAFC.ie Man of The Match: Gideon Tetteh

Match Preview: v Finn Harps

SSE Airtricity League Men’s First Division: Finn Harps v Athlone Town AFC

Date: March 1st, 2024

Kick-off: 7.45pm

Venue: Finn Park, Ballybofey, Co. Donegal

Both teams started the campaign with a win and a draw and will be hoping to keep the momentum going. With the kick-off scheduled for 7.45pm, both teams are looking to add to their early season tally.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of this much-anticipated match.

Finn Harps had a great comeback in Longford two weeks ago to get their first win of the season and a draw with Cork City last weekend sees them on 4 points. Harps fans will be disappointed with how last season concluded but hopeful they can get into the promotion race this year. Luke O’Brien joined on loan from St. Pats and added to a much-changed Harps this season.

Athlone have had two great first half performances in the games this season but struggled in the second half against Cobh. Athlone understand Finn Park is a difficult place to come out of with any points but are hopeful the front three will continue to excite and cause problems for teams.

Dario Castelo stated, “While we got a point on the road our team are disappointed with didn’t get three points and it shows the ambition of the squad we have put together. We have played very well going forward, I want to see more of the same.”

Team News

Athlone Town AFC will be without Jamar Campion Hinds who is still sidelined with an injury.

Past Encounters

Athlone Town’s two visits to Finn Park last season consisted of a 4-1 win and a 4-1 loss so who’s to know what the score will be tomorrow.

Key Players to Watch

For Athlone Town AFC, Dylan Hand has been supurb so far since returning to the club and will hope to continue his good form after getting a goal for himself last weekend.

Finn Harps forward Success Edogun who is well known to Athlone Town fans has developed really well since he left Athlone and will be hoping to continue with his goal a game return this season.

Match Tickets
Tickets for the game can be purchased here.

Referee Team
Referee:
Daniel Murphy
1st Assistant Referee: Darren Corcoran
2nd Assistant Referee: Keenan Deering
4th Official: Michael Connolly