League of Ireland Series – Shelbourne FC. - this cache is one of a series based around League of Ireland football clubs. The caches are all located at or near venues where current League of Ireland soccer teams play.
The League of Ireland Series is open to everyone, if you would like to place a cache at any other club in your area please feel free to do so, you can follow the general format of my series pages if you like.
Shelbourne Football Club is an Irish football club based in the Drumcondra area of Dublin, have just won promotion to The League of Ireland Premier Division.(Oct 2011)
Shelbourne were founded in Dublin in 1895. In 1904 the club joined the Irish Football League, which was then an all Ireland competition, before becoming founding members of the League of Ireland in 1921. Shelbourne have won the league 13 times and are one of three clubs to have won both the IFA Cup and the FAI Cup. In recent years, Shelbourne have become Ireland's most successful club in UEFA's club competitions. They currently play their home matches at Tolka Park, in the Dublin suburb of Drumcondra. The club colours are primarily red and white, with home jerseys being predominantly red. 'Shels' is the club's most common nickname, an abbreviation of Shelbourne.
In the 2004/2005 European season, Shelbourne became the first Irish club to reach the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League only to be eliminated by Deportivo De La Coruna despite heroic performances both home and away. Their performances in European competition and former striker Jason Byrne being capped for the Republic of Ireland whilst with the club, gained Shelbourne international exposure. Despite the tough season in which they played eight matches in Europe, manager Pat Fenlon kept them focused and they finished the season as Champions wining back to back titles for the first time in their history.
However after ongoing financial problems during the 2006 season, Pat Fenlon resigned and the vast majority of players left, some for rival clubs, some to British clubs. Shels withdrew from the 2007 Setanta Sports Cup and before the start of the new league season were demoted to the First Division by the FAI. The club's majority shareholder Ollie Byrne suffered a brain tumour (he died in August 2007) and Joe Casey was installed as Chairman. Former manager Dermot Keely was brought back in and assembled a squad just in time for the club to take its place in the 2007 League of Ireland First Division. A respectable finish in the top half of the table was secured, in the 2008 campaign they were bankers to win the First Division but a last minute goal by Limerick 37 in Tolka Park gave Dundalk the league and the accompanying promotion.
In 2009, the chance for promotion evaporated when Shels lost 1-2 at home to Sporting Fingal in the promotion/relegation play-off semi-final.In 2009 Shelbourne left the European Club Association. In 2010 former Reds player Alan Mathews became the new manager. Under Matthews Shelbourne won the 2010 Leinster Senior Cup, the first time the competition was held for ten years, later that year Shelbourne narrowly missed out on a place in the Promotion Play-offs thanks to a 2-1 defeat at home to Waterford United