With the upcoming Cork AUL 2017-2018 season we take a look at two of the biggest teams in the League hailing from the Northside of Cork City.

Grattan United the oldest club in the Cork AUL starting in 1926 and Knocknaheeny Celtic. Both clubs deeply integrated in the local community.

I myself played for Grattan and played against Knocknaheeny, experienced first hand the rivalry surrounding these two clubs.

Only 10 years ago a challenge would have been issued across a bar, or a simple text sent from one friend to another, but with the rise of social media, gauntlets are being thrown down across Twitter and Facebook. 99% are friendly and no harm is meant, especially when it comes to local football.

With the giants of junior football Grattan Utd winning the Cork AUL Premier title last season.

Their local rivals Knocknaheeny Celtic winning Team of the year and the Premier A title and also the Mossie Linnane Cup.

I’ve enjoyed watching most of the players and supporter squaring up on the media sites.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a big crowd at a local game. I remember one I played in back in 2010 against Knocknaheeny Celtic and their must have being 200 or so people at it. I can see that figure double or even treble this year with both teams pushing for the title.

It’s a fantastic advertisement for both clubs and all the work they do in the community. It’s a friendly rivalry that I hope goes on for years, very much like the merseyside rivalry. Both teams have a great respect for each other but as soon as they cross the white line the respect turns to hunger for the win.

I’m looking forward to see how the teams recruit this summer. Grattan have new management in Brian Walsh and my old team/school mate Keith Shaw and Niall Curtain.

Knocknaheeny Celtic will hope to keep their squad together but may need a couple more players just to add more quality to their team or players that have been there and done the Premier before.

All I can say is

Bring on the season, it’ll be a cracker!

Dean

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