Mullane has strong connection to Sullane success

March 7th, 2023 12:30 PM

By Ger McCarthy

The Sullane team that defeated Baltimore 5-0 to capture the Championship title in Ballyvourney.

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JONATHAN Mullane led Sullane to the West Cork League O’Brien Water Services Championship title 30 years after his late father achieved a similar accolade. 

The Ballyvourney club’s manager has overseen a successful 2022-23 title-winning Championship campaign.

In 1993, Jonathan’s late father and former Cork senior footballer, Sean Mullane, took charge of both Sullane FC and the Naomh Abán footballers. 

That ’93 season, Jonathan was the team’s young mascot as Sullane lifted the West Cork League Championship (Division 3) title. Thirty years later, the Mullane family has a second WCL trophy success to celebrate. 

The destination of the Championship was in Sullane’s hands as they hosted Baltimore recently. 

Victory over the promotion-chasing Crabs would secure top spot after Sullane’s promotion to the Premier Division had been attained the previous week. 

A superb team display saw Sullane run out convincing 5-0 winners before being presented with the WCL Championship trophy. 

George Lowry opened the scoring before Chris Desmond doubled the home team’s advantage after 18 minutes. Aodha Keane and Daniel Kelly's efforts made it 4-0 at half-time. Declan Allen rounded off a 5-0 triumph and memorable day for a Sullane team ready to make an impact in the Premier Division. 

‘This title was a long time coming, I can tell you, as the last few games seemed to drag on,’ Sullane manager Jonathan Mullane told The Southern Star.

‘We were a bit worried about playing Baltimore as they are chasing promotion so it was brilliant to get the job done once and for all. The title was ours to win over the last couple of games but you still have to get over the line. 

‘Getting up the Premier Division is massive for the club. We said, at the start of the year, that we wanted to win the Championship. These lads are good enough to play in the Premier even though we might have to add a few more to the squad. 

‘There are some great young players coming through so it is great to be up amongst the Premier (Division) clubs.’

Here is a Sullane training session from their 1993 West Cork League Championship (Division 3) title-winning season. Circled (left) is club mascot and 2023 Championship winning manager Jonathan Mullane. Circled (right) is Jonathan's late father, Sean Mullane, and 1993 Championship winning manager.


It was an emotional day for the Mullane family, not least Jonathan who remembered how his late father Sean achieved similar success with Sullane 30 years before. 

‘I was the team’s mascot back in 1993 when my father Sean led Sullane to a West Cork League title,’ Jonathan added.

‘This season is the 30-year anniversary of that Sullane title-win which is gas when you think about it. My dad passed away back in 2008. 

‘There is a big Mullane family connection with Sullane. My nephew, Ciaran Morris, is on this year’s squad and my brother, Jerry, scored the winning goal in the final game of the 1993 season.’

These are heady days for the Ballyvourney-based club. Sullane’s junior (adult) team was on hiatus from 2019. Since 2021, a huge amount of hard work, both on and off the pitch, in rebranding the club, creating a new website, increasing their social media presence and new facilities developments helped deliver success at adult and underage levels. 

Sullane’s U12 schoolgirls team has reached the last eight in the country of this season’s SFAI Subway U12 National Schoolgirls Cup with a massive tie at home to Galway club Bearna na Forbacha on the horizon.

‘Our soccer club is going well thanks to a massive effort by a lot of club volunteers over the last couple of years,’ Jonathan Mullane explained. 

‘I was in charge of the Sullane junior team for a couple of years where we gained promotion but never managed to win the title. 

‘The lads want a real crack off of the Premier Division. Whether I will be there, I don’t know, we will have to see (laughs)! There is a Beamish Cup quarter-final to look forward to before all that.’

Sullane: Aaron Murphy, Aban O’Riordan, Alan Dunne, Aodha Keane, Arran Hoare, Chris Desmond, Ciaran Lucey, Ciaran Morris, Colm Roche, Conor Lane, Damien Hoare, Dan Kelly, Daniel Desmond, Dara "Mickey" Lynch, Dara Healy, Darragh "Freddie" Lynch, Darren Cullinane, Declan Allen, Dermot Kelly, DJ Dineen, Finlay Walker, George Lowrie, Iarlaith Twomey, Joseph Warren, Kevin O’Donoghue, Michael Desmond, Mickey O’Donoghue, Mikey Dineen, Sean Clifford, Seán Ó Ríordáin, Sean O’Riordan, Tomas Keane.

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