One Sunnyside-based soccer club has been taking the field for over 50 years and only plans on getting stronger and bigger.
The NY Shamrock Soccer Club, a member of the Cosmopolitan Soccer League, was founded in 1960 and has since grown in its western Queens community including players from all over the borough, city, nation and different parts of the world.
Currently, with more than 100 players, the club has four adult teams — the NY Shamrocks, NY Shamrocks Reserves, NY Shamrocks Over 30s, and most recently the NY Shamrocks Women’s team.
“[The club is] proud of its heritage, of being an Irish club and proud of being part of the community for over 50 years,” said John Riordan, the treasurer on the club’s committee and also a player for the past four years. “It’s a nice spread and it’s definitely fun to go back to [The Courtyard Ale House] after a game. It’s an amazing clash of countries back at the bar.”
The goal right now for the club, along with bringing home as many wins as possible, is to advance in the 21st century, become more involved and known in the community, and reconnect various generations of Shamrocks, according to Riordan.
“There are a lot of old Shamrocks that have lost touch with the club and we’re trying to re-engage them and just grow the club,” said Riordan, who even met fellow Shamrocks back in Ireland. “People have fond memories of playing with the club. You want to make the club as strong as it can be.”
The original playing ground for the club was at the field at Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School in East Elmhurst, and at the moment the club is looking for a new permanent field to call home.
The teams practice at Randall’s Island Tuesdays and Thursdays, and home games are played at St. Michael’s Playground, right by the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, due to help from Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley, said Riordan.
“This has offered us huge stability this season,” he said. “Finding a space to play on regularly is a very difficult process and she helped us along, something we’re very grateful for.”
The club has also been sponsored by local businesses such as The Courtyard Ale House, Galasso Trucking and Crana Electric.
Along with hoping to bring home some trophies, the club also plans to have a youth structure in Sunnyside.
“It’s just the best way of meeting people,” Riordan said about the club. “I never thought I would find a club that is as competitive and that takes it as seriously like the Shamrocks.”
On Oct. 12, all three men’s teams took home wins, with the NY Shamrocks First Team winning 6-1 against Doxa FC. The teams will play in the Cosmopolitan League State Cup on Oct. 19.
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