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FAI CEO Hill to the rescue as he steps in as match referee in DDSL tie at Porterstown Park

FOOTBALL Association of Ireland CEO Jonathan Hill proved to be a knight in shining armour this morning for the players of Castleknock Celtic and St Francis’ DDSL Under 13 Intermediates.

Their match at Porterstown Park was running behind schedule  due to the late arrival of the match official from Leopardstown, but the FAI’s senior figure who was visiting from nearby Castleknock Hotel stepped in to ensure the match went ahead in temporary control as match referee.

By EAMON SCOTT

Castleknock Celtic team manager Roy Coyne welcomed Hill to the club’s base along with executive club member Eamonn O’Connor. Hill was then given a brief guided tour of the Porterstown Park playing facilities and clubhouse. 

  Coyne availed of the opportunity to ask the association’s chief administrator to deliver a pre-match team chat with the home side’s players which he was happy to do, but when he realised the absence of the match referee, the track suited Hill generously offered his services.

Said Coyne: “We were delighted to welcome Jonathan here to Castleknock Celtic and I recognised him straight away and thrilled to have a chat with him. He was very impressed with the facilities and the number of teams and different grades of football that was ongoing at the time,” explained Coyne whose day-job is CEO at Dublin Bus. 

Castleknock Celtic currently has 55 teams under its’ club colours and includes Football For All and a Saturday morning young tots academy. The club is also affiliated to the Dublin District Schoolboys League, the North Dublin Schoolboys League, Dublin Metropolitan Girls League, Leinster Football League and the Leinster Senior League.

  Hill’s communication skills and refereeing prowess also came in for commendation by Ray Coyne. “He was excellent. He brought in both captains and explained what was happening and spoke to them about his expectations of fair play. He was right up with the play and I couldn’t fault any of the decisions he made in the time he was refereeing,” added Coyne. 

When the appointed match official arrived Hill was happy to pass the baton on but Coyne said that Jonathan Hill was enjoying himself and would have continued on to the end if needed to be. 

On a day that is officially designated as World Kindness Day, Hill’s generous act of stepping in to take charge of the game was appreciated by all sides in what turned out to be a very sporting match which was ultimately won by the visitors on a 3-1 scoreline.

GOALMOUTH ACTION: St Francis under pressure from Castleknock Celtic in their DDSL Under 13 Inter clash at Porterstown

“He knew the game and knew what he was doing,” said Ray Coyne. “We’re more than happy that he took the time to come visit us here at Porterstown Park but also agreeing to act as match official.”

Hill’s generous act was also applauded by long serving club secretary Tony Jordan. “In a week here players of the NDSL are without matches because of abuse of match officials, Jonathan Hill’s generous act is a sign of support for all our match officials and we are more than happy to welcome him to our club so he can see the great work being undertaken by so many volunteers from the local community.”

VERA PAUW: RECENT VISITOR TO CASTLEKNOCK CELTIC

Added Jordan: “Recently, we had a visit from Republic of Ireland Women’s team head coach Vera Pauw and she did some coaching with our girls MGL side and that too is warmly greeted by everyone associated with the club.” 

Current construction work at Porterstown will soon see the advent of a Sporting Hub which will include an all-weather pitch along with a running track and Jordan is excited by the potential of the Fingal County Council venture. 

“It’ll be a great addition for Castleknock Celtic and the local community. We have put a huge amount of work into developing Porterstown as a base for Castleknock Celtic and this will be a great facility which will benefit the members of this club in such a positive way.”

FOOTBALL FOR ALL: Castleknock Celtic’s Football For All programme has vacancies for more Special Needs players.

CASTLEKNOCK CELTIC IS developing its FOOTBALL FOR ALL section for children with special needs with a view to having teams participating in the DDSL/FAI league in spring of next year. Heather Jameson FAI’s FFA Development Officer is linked into the club as they drive this project forward.

They already have the nucleus of their squads for U-10s and U-16s, and are inviting more children with special needs to join their sessions each Saturday morning at 9.30pm in Porterstown Park, beside their clubhouse. please contact Tony Jordan on 083 4111721

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