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Antrim county football team

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Antrim county football team represents Antrim GAA, the county board of the Gaelic Athletic Association, in the Gaelic sport of football. The team competes in the three major annual inter-county competitions; the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, the Ulster Senior Football Championship and the National Football League.

Antrim's home ground is Casement Park, Belfast. The team's manager is Enda McGinley.

The team last won the Ulster Senior Championship in 1951, but has never won the All-Ireland Senior Championship or the National League.


Liam Bradley (left), former manager of the Antrim seniors, with Armagh manager Peter McDonnell (right) at the launch of the 2009 Dr McKenna Cup
Liam Bradley (left), former manager of the Antrim seniors, with Armagh manager Peter McDonnell (right) at the launch of the 2009 Dr McKenna Cup

Antrim were the first Ulster county to appear in an All Ireland final, in 1911 and repeated the feat again in 1912, losing on both occasions. Antrim's surprise football semi-final success came out of the blue in 1911. The Ulster secretary got sick that year and never organised a provincial Championship. So Antrim arrived with no practice to play Kilkenny and won by 3-1 to 1-1. The following year they beat Kerry. Heavy rain on the day, and over-indulgence at a wedding the day before were blamed for the shock 3-5 to 0-2 defeat. Antrim's County Board decision to introduce a City League in 1908, one of the first in Gaelic history, was a more legitimate explanation. The 1946 Antrim football team was regarded as one of the most exciting of the era, taking advantage of the newly reintroduced handpass. Joe McCallin's two goals helped beat Cavan in the Ulster final but Kerry roughed them out of the All Ireland semi-final.

The opening of Casement Park boosted the games in Belfast, but from the late 1960s the troubles hampered sporting life in the football heartlands of Belfast, particularly Ardoyne. Political violence meant that the county could not build on the under-21 team of 1969, one of the finest in Ulster history (Din Joe McGrogan, scorer of the goals that put Antrim in the final, was killed by a Loyalist bomb). The county's Vocational Schools team has made it to 2 All Ireland Finals in 1968 where they beat Galway and in 1971 where they were beaten by Mayo. A drawn Ulster semi-final with Derry in 2000 was one of the highlights of Antrim's recent football career alongside winning the Tommy Murphy Cup in 2008, beating Wicklow in the final and gaining revenge for losing the 2007 final to the same opponents. Antrim reached the 2009 Ulster Championship final, the first Antrim team to do so for 31 years. They were runners-up to All-Ireland champions Tyrone.

Jody Gormley was named Antrim manager ahead of the 2007 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship,[1] a role he held for two seasons.

Lenny Harbinson managed the team from 2017 until 2020. He was unable to gain promotion from Division 4 of the National Football League and the county exited the Ulster Senior Football Championship in its first game in each of his three years, though defeated Louth in an away All-Ireland Senior Football Championship qualifier in 2019.[2]

In November 2020, Enda McGinley was appointed manager.[3] McGinley's former Tyrone teammate Stephen O'Neill was brought in to be part of his backroom team and Brendan Murphy was appointed as strength and conditioning coach.[4]

All Stars




  1. ^ News | Cumann Lúthchleas Gael Official Website -
  2. ^ "Lenny Harbinson: Antrim football boss steps down after weekend championship defeat". BBC. 10 November 2020.
  3. ^ "Enda McGinley: Ex-Tyrone player is ratified as new Antrim football manager". BBC. 21 November 2020. Retrieved 21 November 2020.
  4. ^ "Lynch backs reputation of new management". Gaelic Life. 12 February 2021.
  5. ^ "Antrim - Cumann Lúthchleas Gael Uladh".
This page was last edited on 22 June 2021, at 21:19
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