Suncroft A.F.C. was founded in 1975 as Church View Athletic and admitted into the Leinster Junior League (L.J.L.) two years later. The manager at the time was Pat Farrell. Among the founding members were Damien Carroll, Paddy & Eamon Doyle, Joe Dunne Sr, Josie Dunne, Brian & Patrick ‘Pa’ Kelly, Johnny Kelly and Mick McDonagh.
Josie Dunne took over as manager in the 1980 season and changed the clubs name to Suncroft A.F.C. and they continued to play in the L.J.L. Counties divisions throughout these years and it wasn’t long until the first piece of silverware arrived into the club. In the 1982 season Suncroft won the L.J.L. Counties Division Two league title with players like Tom Confrey, Christy Lawlor & Bob Knight playing a big part.
After moving up to Division One, Suncroft just missed out on promotion to the Premier Division in the 1984 season.
The following season they reached the final of the Counties Cup but were beaten by Clara Town. This season also saw the formation of Suncroft’s Second team.
Success wasn’t far away however and at the end of the 1986 season the Division One title was won with the team going the whole season unbeaten, recording the highest score line in the clubs history, 14 – 2 against Oghter United. Suncroft also finished runners-up in the Kildare Championships.
In the 1987 season, the disappointment of the previous year’s defeat in the Kildare Championships final was overcome when they won the trophy with a 3 – 1 win over Straffan in Castledermot.
The team that lined out that day was as follows: Mick Mackey, Colm Slattery, Paul Hanley, Noel Boland, Nicky Morris, Denis King, John Reidy, Paddy Byrne, Robbie Doyle, Tom Confrey & Christy Lawlor.
Sub: Kieran Phelan.
The 1988 season brought one of the greatest victories in the clubs history. Reaching the F.A.I. Junior Cup Midlands Area final where the opposition were Newbridge Town, who were overwhelming favourites. Against all the odds and thanks to a solitary Robbie Doyle goal, Suncroft won the trophy. This day is still remembered fondly by all involved and put the club on the map in Leinster.
The team for this game was: Mick Mackey, Colm Slattery, Paul Hanley, Paul Brannigan, Joe Rooney, Kieran Phelan, Christy Lawlor, Paddy Byrne, Robbie Doyle, Anthony Ennis & Tom Confrey.
Subs: Denis King & Noel Boland.
This victory was followed by a march to the Quarter Final of the F.A.I. Junior Cup where Dublin’s Tolka Rovers ended the fantastic run. Also that season Suncroft were beaten in the replayed final of the Sheeran Cup by Castle Villa having drawn the first game one all in Dalymount Park. Anthony Ennis was the scorer that day.
The following season, 1989, was a very successful one for the club. First up Suncroft won the L.J.L. Counties Premier Division, the top tier in the league. Following this they won the Counties Cup with a 2 – 1 win over Rosenallis in Portarlington. Man of the Match was Denis King, who scored an unbelievable goal from thirty five yards out. Nicky Morris was the other scorer on the day and Tom Confrey captained the side. The treble was completed with a 6 – 2 win over Leixlip in the Kildare Championships final with goals from Paul Brannigan (2), Denis King (1), Dougie Houlihan (1), Christy Lawlor (1) & Tom Confrey (1).
The First team joined the L.J.L. Dublin Premier Division the following season and became the first team from outside Dublin to win this division in the 1991 season and were captained by Freddie Darling. Peter Stafford scored twenty goals in sixteen games to help lift the title. The Second team were beaten in the final of the Giffney Cup that year; Bob Knight was on the score sheet.
The 1993 season saw Suncroft’s Under 14 side being entered in the Kildare Schoolboys League and two of the clubs players were selected in the Kildare League Kennedy Cup squad – Neil Barnaby & John Finnegan.
The 1994 season saw this number rise to five with Mikey Daly, Joe Dunne & Brendan McDonald joining the Neil & John in the team’s journey to the Quarter Final where they were beaten by Galway. The Under 12’s side was entered in the league this year under the management of Colm Slattery. On the Senior end of things, the Kildare League Cup (Lumsden Cup) was won for the first time with goals from Paul Hanley (2) & Johnny Burke (1) in a 3 – 1 win.
The 1995 season brought the clubs first underage success with the Under 15’s winning the Cup with a 2 – 1 victory over Kildare Town. They also finished runners-up in the league whilst the First team finished second in the Kildare League Premier Division and were runners-up in the League Shield.
The 1996 season brought success for the clubs Under 18’s team when they beat Naas in the Cup final captained by Neil Lynch and managed by his father Padraig.
The First team were beaten again in the League Shield Final in 1999, while the Second Team were beaten in the Division Two Cup final the same year.
However, success did follow in the next two seasons, 2000 & 2001, with the Premier Division Cup being won in the 2000 season and in the 2001 season the clubs second Lumsden Cup victory followed after a hard fought win over Curragh Rovers, 4 – 2 on penalties after a 2 – 2 draw. Goals that day came from Colm Slattery (1) & Ray Aulsbery (1), with goalkeeper Paul Sinnott scoring in the shootout and also saving the winning penalty.
The victorious line-up was: Paul Sinnott, Eddie Rooney, Micheal Middleton, Ray Aulsbery, Noel Birchall, Colm Slattery, Declan Day, Robbie Doyle, Leo Foy, Ray Coleman, Alan Middleton. Subs Aldo Marini, Neil Barnaby, Joe Kirwan, Paul Loughman & Danny Whelan.
Captain: Declan Day Manager: Freddie Darling
A barren few years followed for the club with runners-up spots being taken in the Senior Division Cup and League Shield again.
The 2008 season saw the Under 17’s team do a League & Cup double and they followed this up the next year by finishing runners-up in the Youth’s League.
The 2009 season brought another double, this time for Suncroft’s Second team, who completed their double winning the League & Republic of Ireland Supporters Club Cup. On an individual level, Under 18’s player Ian Byrne was named the 2009 Kildare District Football League Youth Player of the Year, a fantastic achievement and a first for the club.
The 2010 season saw the Under 18’s team go the whole league season unbeaten to claim the Under 18’s League Title and they were unlucky to be beaten in the Sean Stafford Under 18’s Cup final, losing 2 – 1 to Naas United. Twelve of Under 18’s squad were selected on the Kildare League Under 18’s team and goalkeeper Terry Smith followed up the success of the previous year by being named the 2010 Kildare District Football League Youth Player of the Year.
The 2011 season saw the Under 19’s team do a cup double by winning the the 2011 Evening Herald™ Under 19’s League and the Sean Stafford Under 19’s Cup.
The 2012 season saw The Suncroft A.F.C. First Team finished third in the T-Sports™ Premier Division and won promotion to the CR Wynne’s™ Premier Division and also came runners up in the Spar™ Moorefield Premier Division Shield 2012.
The Suncroft A.F.C. Second Team also finished third in their league, Wallace Trophies™ Division Four, but they just missed out on promotion.
The Under 19’s followed up on their success from the following season as they won the 2012 Evening Herald™ Under 19’s League with new manager Stephen Bulger. Under 19’s striker Willie Hayes was named the 2012 Kildare District Football League Youth Player of the Year, a well deserved and fantastic personal achievement for the Suncroft striker.
The 2012 season also saw the formation of the Suncroft A.F.C. Over 35’s Team, managed by Alan Barry and Sean ‘Sporty’ Barry. The Over 35’s Team managed to win the KDFL™ Masters Division Two League in their first season together and won promotion to the KDFL™ Masters Division One. Dwayne Feane was also named the 2012 Kildare District Football League Over 35’s Player of the Year, a very well deserved award.
Suncroft have a great history dating back over thirty years. This is all thanks to the hard work and dedication of past and present committee members, managers, players, sponsors & supporters without whom none of this would have been possible.
The club continues to go from strength to strength and hopefully another chapter can be added the history books over this coming season.