Celtic Cup History

Celtic Cup - History, Tradition,

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Competition and Excellence

One score and more years ago, against long odds and short knowhow, Celtic Soccer Club made a conscientious effort to become Southern California's premier calendar event for State Cup preparation and adjustment following league and high school competition. Serendipity paid Celtic Cup a kindly visit on its grand opening adventure, because of March Highland weather. Celtic Cup played on while others folded-giving Celtic Cup an immediate reputation for plowing on through the mud and pelting rain; players loved it, freezing sidelines not-so-much.

Referencing long odds: “Not in time, place or circumstance, but in the individual lies success” James Joyce.

Inbred love of youth soccer, trial and error, experimentation, opportunity, and timing were the reasons for the creation of Celtic Cup.  The founder of Celtic Cup, this author, realized during the early 1980s that with CIF high school finals ending in February, there was usually at least a month layoff before youth soccer teams commenced their pursuit of the California State Cup/National Cup-club championships.  Teams beginning their State Cup championship drive were many times unprepared and uninformed concerning the challenges of state cup competition. Out of this challenge came Celtic Cup 1 ironically on March 17th 1984.  This was the first genuine Southern California State Cup preparation tournament. St. Patrick gave it a storm-for-the-ages challenge. Celtic Cup 1 still holds the record for lashing rain, wind and Keltic cold weather. The slogan was born:

 Celtic Cup is a tough, hard slog; good luck!

The founding Celtic Soccer Club team, players DOB 1968, was the inspiration for the first Celtic Cup. This team dwelled in the cellar during their initial season. The founder of Celtic in 1979, this author, promised his players in 1982 that he would produce a youth soccer tournament to honor the team. A team that, thick and thin, through hard work and dedication, catapulted from a last place under Bronze U11 team in 1979 to the Cal-South National Cup Championship final U/16 versus Nomads in 1984 and National Cup semifinal U/19 in 1987 versus Fram.

{2}Irish Proverb: >Life is a puzzle, squeeze in where you fit=.Celtic Cup intentionally "squeezed in" between the ending of CIF finals and the Cal-So State Cup Championships. Yours truly made over 400 telephone calls during a six month period in late 1983 to produce Celtic Cup. These efforts eventually produced 80 teams appearing in the 1984 inaugural Celtic Cup. Many of those teams that declined the invitation to participate in the initial Celtic Cup learned to regret that decision.  This occurred when their failure to compete in the Celtic Cup tournament caused them to be unprepared and uninformed about the rigors of State Cup. Their minds were willing but their flesh was weak.

Two years after the initial Celtic Cup tournament the January edition of Celtic Cup was incorporated into the program. The January tournament provided opportunity aplenty for pre high school age teams. A few years later, Celtic Cup went to a multiple weekend format followed by 3-weekends in January and 3-weekends in March. This expanded Celtic Cup schedule assured every applicant team's acceptance in the tournament. No applicant team has ever been denied entry in Celtic Cup upon deadline date.  Politics of youth soccer have never been allowed and never will be allowed to influence any aspect of Celtic Cup. Volunteers inside Celtic are expressly what made the tournament great.

Celtic Cup provides younger teams in the January tournament   championship games on Sunday evenings under the lights; ditto March tournament schedules-maximum game time for all is its stock-in-trade

A major part of every Celtic Cup is the interest shown by prominent colleges and universities. These major institutions have learned that attendance at Celtic Cup to scout participating student athletes could find the odd lucky charm and exceptional player. Every college and/or university coach receives bios on participating players. Many is the beautiful flower that goes unseen.

{3}The mission statement of Celtic Cup, known to the world, is a commitment to invest whatever funds are necessary to keep its Platinum tournament status. This allows Celtic cup to attract teams from across the United States and around the world. The Celtic Cup tournament is also a spectacle providing pomp and circumstance. Atmosphere: Tournament staff installs over 200 flags crisscrossing the soccer complex.

Celtic Cup has had its share of critics. Celtic Cup looks at each criticism and address’ alternatives. The legendary Irishman Brendan Behan’s quote often applies: Critics are like eunuchs in a harem, they know how it’s done, they’ve seen it done every day, but they’re unable to do it themselves@.

Why the name Celtic?  Why Celtic Cup? Immigrants and visitors, upon arrival into the new world, whether Shanty Irishmen traveling via the hull on a ship sailing over the ocean and singing >The Wild Colonial Boy=  Limey Royalty in first class private, munching on caviar via John Bull=s credit card or Poncho Via swimming the Rio Grande bring with them their customs and culture some bring great joy upon arrival others upon departure; this author sang ‘The Wild Colonial Boy and yes in the hull of the Queen Mary on the Atlantic in 1960 at age 18.

Everything about Celtic has a reference or connection out of the distant past, for example in the mid - 1800s and during the period of the horrific Irish potato famine, one gentleman's life was changed forever, his name Andrew Kearins, Mr.Kearins whether through destiny or circumstance in turn brought sustenance and joy to the lives of untold millions. Benefits to the mass of society that he never imagined.  Andrew joined the Irish Christian Missionaries.  Upon taking charity vows and accepting his mission, Andrew Kearins took the missionary name Br. Walfrid.

Br. Walfrid dedicated his life to helping the poor in Glasgow Scotland. Upon arrival, and after surveying the City of Glasgow, Br. Walfrid realized that it would take an Irishman to solve his Scottish poverty problem. 

    {4} Br. Walfrid rolled up his sleeves, found a few           Glaswegian’s willing to listen and with inimitable powers exclaimed: “You change your thoughts you change your life” Minimize Guinness, maximize knowledge of a higher calling and enter a world of purpose, progress and transformation. Br. Walfrid produces a soup kitchen and started a soccer club with a little help from his friends, he called it Celtic. Scotland, thread and thrum, has never been the same since. The word Celtic had historical meaning for every Catholic in Ireland and Scotland, it means Gaelic or Keltic languages-green and white symbolize the history.

Fourscore and seven years from this reading, when present participants and tournament soldiers are in their hallowed graves, Celtic Cup will indeed endure and continue in the spirit of its calendared time and place. Celtic Cup history, tradition, competition and excellence will endure.

Conceived in the spirit of commitment to good competition, sportsmanship and dedicated to the proposition that all participants shall receive equal and equitable bracketing and fair play. Celtic Cup is of the players, by the players, and for the players.

The reason for Celtic Cup being one of the best is the fact each age group has thirty six teams. Twelve teams of equal ability in each seeded division maximizes equitable bracketing.

Clairvoyantly predicting soccer tournaments twenty years from now, many soccer clubs will visualize the possibilities of success Copying Celtic Cup; consequently, one hundred tournaments and possibly more is lightly, thus potentially creating a level of mediocrity for all including Celtic Cup; only time will tell.

Celtic Cup is akin to attending a rousing Ceili in a thatched cottage on the West Coast of Ireland on a winter=s day with friend and foe in song and repartee. Harps, Hoops and Hibernians from hither >n yon, thread >n thrum-Rangers Y sharing O’Doul=s, and sitting by the hearth with a bright turf fire burning. One score and more years ago, seems like only yesterday. Celtic Cup motto: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle” Plato.


{5} Harmony providers:

U2 singing Danny Boy.

W.B. Yeats reading his poetry

James Joyce having a pint

President Kennedy: Ask not what. . . .


Celtic Cup: >tis a joy and a kick; long might its dates remain calendared.



Matthew McDonagh.