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SSE Airtricity League First Division sides Bray Wanderers FC and Cabinteely FC will merge to form a “new force” in Irish football.
The newly amalgamated club will play in the Carlisle Grounds in Bray and will apply to compete in the First Division in 2022 – a name has yet to be announced for League of Ireland’s latest proposition.
The Chairman of Cabinteely, Tony Richardson will become Chairman of the new club as his Bray Wanderers counterpart Niall O’Driscoll retires from his role.
Cabinteely’s Director of Football, Pat Devlin, will take up the same role at the merged club.
The move comes after a lengthy period of discussion between the management of both clubs while the joining together has been made possible through the acquisition of a majority shareholding in Bray Wanderers FC limited.
Incoming club Chairman Tony Richardson said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for our two renowned clubs to establish a great good for football on a local, regional and national level.
“It is also very much in line with FAI encouragement for clubs to seek ways of co-operating more closely together.
“Both clubs have really brilliant people involved, with an exceptionally proud heritage, where Bray Wanderers was established in 1922 and Cabinteely in 1967.
“Both clubs have performed with distinction across all leagues throughout the years. Both are pillars within their communities and both have fantastic supporters, members and players who have an enormous love of football.
“It is this love of football that will continue to inspire us all to drive the future success of this endeavour.
“Now, with the coming together of both clubs, we will see a further strengthening of football for the generations to come and a commitment towards the continuing advancement of our combined club, and many partner clubs, for the football communities who we will continue to serve in the months, years and decades ahead.
“I look forward to working with everyone to continue the great progress of both clubs in recent years where by joining together, we are stronger for the future.”
Bray Wanderers’ outgoing Chairman Niall O’Driscoll said: “This coming together of Bray Wanderers and Cabinteely Senior FC is impressive in its vision and a logical step that will create a dynamic new influence in Irish football.
“I’m very proud to have helped stabilise and strengthen the position and status of Bray Wanderers, which is now on a firm footing and has performed very strongly in the 2021 league, enabling this excellent new development to take place.
“I express my absolute gratitude and my delight for everyone associated with Bray Wanderers, especially all the players, staff, volunteers, sponsors, local businesses and friends who have helped greatly in stabilising such a great club and securing such an exciting future that we announce today.
“The supporters and partner clubs’ continuous support, witnessed in the playoff final, was fantastic and shows that the future going forward is really exciting for everyone alike.
“I’m delighted with the success of our underage system and the progression of many players. This merger will only enhance these opportunities over the coming years.
“The conveyor belt of top underage players from the last few years, with the committed growth and investment of young talent, is exciting.
“I wish incoming Chairman Tony and everyone involved, both old and new, every possible success and I look forward to the exciting advancement, progress and success of the merged club.”