In celebration of 30 full seasons of the Ulster Senior League, which first came into being in the 1986/87 season, the League has appointed a selection panel which will chose the ‘ELEVEN30’ – the team of the 30 seasons of the USL.
Although this is actually the 32nd season of the USL, two of those were short, interim campaigns to allow for the switch to summer football in 2007 and another last season to facilitate the switch back to the winter season last year.
The ‘ELEVEN30’ will comprise eleven players, chosen in position, and a manager, selected by the League’s panel.
Ulster Senior League PRO Chris McNulty will Chair a selection panel that also includes Eamon McConigley, Danny McConnell, Chris Ashmore, Harry Walsh, Cathal Toland and Brian McIvor.
Eamon McConigley is the current manager of Letterkenny Rovers. He won USL titles as a player and manager with Fanad United as well as winning the FAI Intermediate Cup with the Triagh-A-Locha club.
Last season, he helped take Letterkenny Rovers to the Intermediate Cup final and managed Rovers to USL glory in 2009.
Danny McConnell managed Letterkenny Rovers and Swilly Rovers to USL titles and also managed Drumoghill FC during their time in the League.
Chris Ashmore and Harry Walsh have been reporting on the Ulster Senior League in the local media since the League’s early years, with Harry also a former player at Letterkenny Rovers.
Cathal Toland has seen the USL from different positions. A former referee, he has been in the thick of the action, while he has been Chairman at Fanad United and also served on the League Executive for a period.
Brian McIvor played for Fanad United, Quigley’s Point Swifts and also Cockhill Celtic, while he served a period as manager of QPS..
Ulster Senior League PRO Chris McNulty said: “The idea behind ‘ELEVEN30’ is to mark the occasion of the League reaching this milestone in its history by showcasing the high standard of players who have graced the League.
“This will also generate widespread debate and talk about who should be included and you’ll find that no two people will select the same 11.
“The USL has seen some wonderful individual talents since 1986 and you could talk for hours on end about this.
“I would like to thank the selection panel who have agreed to participate in the selection of the ‘ELEVEN30’.
“We wanted to get a broad representation from people who have been involved in the League from day one and who have an in-depth knowledge from the different generations.
“We’re sure that the final selection will be eagerly awaited. The team will be unveiled at our end-of-season awards function. The date and venue for this function will be confirmed at a later time.”
Ulster Senior League Chairman Johnny McCafferty said: “Some fantastic players have graced the Ulster Senior League over the years, since it first began in the 1986/87 season.
“Countless players have gone on to play at senior level in the League of Ireland and in the Irish League while many others have gone further afield in their careers.
“The Ulster Senior League has been the standard-bearer for Donegal soccer since 1986 and the aim for the League Executive and the clubs now competing is to remain in that position.
“The standard of the League is extremely high as will be reflected by the debates that this announcement will create. Every position here will be hotly contested and there are no certainties.
“The calibre of player that will be included in our ‘ELEVEN30’ selection will showcase just how good the Ulster Senior League has been over the years.”
The USL will unveil further details, including a logo, of this event in the coming weeks and supporters are encouraged to give their opinions on social media, via the Ulster Senior League Facebook page and on Twitter @uslfootball and using the hastag #USLELEVEN30