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Season preview 1908-09: Belfast Celtic F.C. (Belfast Telegraph)


August 31, 1908
Never in its history has the Paradise team undergone such a complete metamorphosis in such a short space of time. The migrations have been numerous, and the acquisitions have not yet demonstrated that superiority or knowledge of the popular game that presage a successful career. Perhaps, however, that will come in time. I hope so, at any rate.

The old team has been succeeded by one characterised by its juvenility. Where veterans tailed young blood, with that impetuously invariably associated with youth, may succeed. They have had trying times up Celtic way, but they have weathered many storms, and there is no earthly reason why the storms, and there is no earthly reason why the Stripes should not be that power in the land they were when they first entered upon their career.

An experienced management controls the club’s affairs, and it only that proportion of Fortune’s favour which spills upon the club in connection with other branches of sport are showered upon the football department, Celtic will more than hold their own again.

Mr. Dan McCann, J.P. will again preside over the deliberations of a directorate which includes such all-round good sportsmen as Messrs. D. McCloskey, J.P.; J. Rooney, W.J. Donnelly, J. McAnerney, J. Grayston, J. Maguire, J. McGinley, H. McAlinden, J.M. Kelly, and H. Scallion, while Mr. Bob Barr, 499 Falls Road, will again control the secretarial department.

The following players are up to the present available, but the playing strength of the club will be considerably augmented before many days have passed, viz.; – Austin Donnelly, P. McCann, P. Warren (Strandville), James Connor, Hans Pinkerton, W.W. Robertson (Workington), J. Lawlor (Strandville), Andrew Hunter, J. Blair, P. O’Connell (Strandville), C. Hughes (Strandville), Luke Devlin, P. Savage, C. Reavey, J. Ryan (Shelbourne), M. King (Castlewellan), J. Kelly, M. Gilmore, P. O’Neill, M. O’Driscoll, and F. O’Hare.

Out of such a contingent a capable eleven should be evolved, and no doubt will.

J. McIlvenny will train the players, and few know better their requirements. Many improvements have been effected at the ground since last year, chief amongst these being another new and commodious stand and a new pavilion. The aim of the management this season will be to gather together a first-rate second string, and already steps have been taken with this end in view.

If the same moiety of enthusiasm was imparted to football a is bestowed on kindred sports all would soon be well up Paradise way. They have already played two matches without sustaining a reverse, a performance they failed to accomplish in their opening matches last season.

I hope a very successful season indeed is in store for the Celts.
(Source: Belfast Telegraph: August 31, 1908; by ‘Ralph the Rover’)

Hans Pinkerton, Belfast Celtic (Belfast Telegraph: October 23, 1902).

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