Venue: Mayfield Park
Home Team Colours (Shirts, Shorts, Socks): Blue, Blue, Blue
Away Team Colours (Shirts, Shorts, Socks): Red, Red Red
Janssen Football Club was set up in 2019 by Michael Stack, Barry Cantillon and Patrick Wiley. The aim of the club is to provide all employees/contractors in Janssen with an opportunity to take part in an adult 11-a-side football league, by registering with the Cork Business League.
However, the company is no stranger to the CBL or the “Shipping League” as it is known historically. They first entered the league in 1991, and exited just over 10 years ago, in 2008. Their only honour is finishing runners up to Rochestown Park Hotel in 2007 in the First Division. As you can see from the gallery below, we have dug through our archives to un-earth some photos. The squad photos with black and white stripes & the green jerseys are from the 1998 / 99 season. Blue was the choice of colour for the club in 2004/05 season. Janssen FC chose to re-join the Cork Business Business league (CBL) to provide all employees and contractors of the company with an opportunity to partake in an 11-a-side league. The club feels that this is an excellent opportunity for interested workers to get involved in a competitive and rapidly growing League. The club and the league will also help promote health, well-being and team spirit amongst its members.
The club hopes to provide its members with a chance to meet and get to know colleagues from within and outside their department in a non-workplace setting. The club will also aim to promote health, team spirit, and well-being for its members.
Janssen Sciences Ireland is a state-of-the-art biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility based in Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork. Innovative cancer therapies and medicines for immune-related diseases are manufactured at the facility. Established in 2005 the site initially manufactured 2 commercial products, today 5 commercial products (Simponi, Stelara, Sylvant, Darzalex and Tremfya) are manufactured on site. Janssen Sciences currently employs approx. 500 people.
Janssen currently has a new €300m Fed Batch plant expansion project under construction in Ringaskiddy (BioCork2 project). Once complete, staff numbers on-site are set to reach 700/750.
In March 2020, we sat down with the Janssen FC back-room team and playing staff amid the COVID-19 crisis. The below is a season review (so far!).
On a calm, bright evening in Ballea Park last August, Janssen FC took to the field for the first time. A squad of 12 players were available for a friendly encounter against OBS, which was played behind closed doors, not because of pre-emptive fears over Covid-19, but due to lack of interest from the public. The team, astutely led by sub/manager and wannabe Cork man Michael Stack, put in a stellar first 45 minutes, and managed to concede only two penalties. Despite the 2-0 half time scoreline, signs for hope were present in the clubs first 45 minutes of action. The game finished 2-1, a result that represented something in terms of a moral victory for the fledgeling team from Ringaskiddy.
Early September saw the buzz around the Janssen site in Ringaskiddy grow significantly, predominantly due to the introduction of 50,000 Bees to site under a Biodiversity initiative. But excitement ahead of Janssen FCs first competitive game was growing too. Whispers of “Oh my God, is that Janssen FC centre back Paddy Markey?” could be heard around the canteen, usually coming from Paddy himself, and midfielder Stephen Crowley signed more autographs than Sample Release Forms in the run-up to our first CBL Shield game versus CPL.
In mid-September, at a sun-kissed Douglas Community School, Janssen FC played their first competitive game. An early lead was quickly wiped out by CPL, thanks in no small part to an aerial disaster up there with the Hindenburg by Janssen goalkeeper Patrick Wiley. Janssen regained the lead before half time through Eoghan Markey (brother of Paddy) and dug deep in the second half against a barrage of pressure before Paddy’s brother Eoghan sealed the victory with a late brace to complete his hattrick. Janssen FC were well and truly on the Radar.
The next chapter of our Shield adventure unfolded at Mayfield Sports Complex against fellow newcomers to the CBL, PepsiCo. There were some ugly scenes before the game as a Janssen FC fan hurled bottles of Coca-Cola at the PepsiCo squad, an incident now known in the Mayfield area as “Coke-Gate”. Fortunately, this fan was allowed to stay for the game and they were in for a treat as they witnessed Janssen FCs best performance to date, ending up in a 3-0 victory for the away side. This fan, and the other fan present, also had the pleasure to witness the 2nd half debut of Janssen talisman, Aidan “Minty” Murray. The mercurial Minty has been likened to a glacier by pundits. He’s cool, imposing, is going to go past you very slowly, and there is very little you can do about it. Minty gave an exhibition in number 10 play on the day and his performance culminated in two goals for the eventual winners.
By now, cult heroes were beginning to identify themselves to the Janssen faithful.
It wasn’t only the name of Minty that was appearing on the Radars of the boats at Ringaskiddy harbour. Eoghan Markey, a younger brother of Paddy, was a name being talked about in high regard in establishments such as The Ferryboat Inn and The Shamrock. Janssen’s top scorer has all the attributes of a top striker; he’s fast, he’s quick and he’s got pace. He is a huge asset to the club. He is also Paddy Markey’s brother.
Pat “The Ice Man” Crowley is another cult figure in the Janssen ranks. The nickname isn’t down to Pat’s coolness in front of goal, but rather due to the fact that in all of his appearances for the club, he has managed to pull or tear a muscle. The Ice Man can regularly be seen grimacing on the sidelines, with, you’ve guessed it, ice, on his aching muscles or, when in better health, hobbling up to strike a free-kick. Ice salesmen throughout the Cork region are extremely grateful that Crowley has returned to the game.
These figures may one day become legends of the club, but in our first home game at Mayfield Park against Premier Division outfit Healy O’ Connor Solicitors, a man who already oozes legendary status made his bow. After 19 seconds of this 3rd round Shield encounter, Ger McSweeney showed all of his 58 years by going down with a sore calf. Enter Eoin Barrett. Barrett is best described as an amalgamation of the footballing abilities of Jaap Stam and Paulo Maldini. He also has shades of Ronan O’ Gara in his DNA as he can find the sideline from anywhere on the field. For the 52 minutes of his debut, Barrett objected to every Healy’s attack, overruled every Healy’s players attempts to get by him and sustained a steady stream of greatness over those who were lucky enough to share the field with him. He withdrew himself in the 53rd minute of the contest with Janssen leading 3-1. He’d done enough. Janssen held on in Barrett’s absence for a 3-2 win which confirmed a top of the table finish in CBL Shield group C, a fantastic achievement for the new club. Our shield campaign continued with a 7-2 Quarter-final win over Colso Celtic before the run was halted at the semi-final stage by Doolans Cow in a very close 6-1 defeat. The club is very proud of their very first shield run.
If our shield form was decent, our league start was anything but. PepsiCo gained revenge for “Coke-Gate” by earning a deserved 3-2 victory at Mayfield Park. A point was taken on the road against Planet Cork, the Planet goal coming courtesy of Patrick Wiley’s best hologram impression. A big win against The Weigh Inn Dripsey followed, before two defeats on the spin away to both Voxpro and Abtran. 4 points out of 15, form which appalled Eoin Barrett so much he informed the club he’d return after Christmas.
Paddy Markey was unavailable for our next game away to Martin Harvey Solicitors, but his brother Eoghan made a welcome return and played his part in a big and important win. Then, on a wet and hungover Sunday morning 10 days before Christmas, and with luck very much on our side, we gained our 3rd win of the campaign away to Dripsey. Some momentum to take into the Winter break and beyond.
Eoin Barrett has been called many things throughout his life; Lady-killer, The Rock, The Microbial Machine and Eoin.
The Anti-Santa is one of his lesser-known, yet important, aliases. The Anti-Santa is a nickname that originates not from any tendencies to hoard presents and treat children poorly, but rather due to Eoin’s uncanny ability to do his best work just after Christmas. In January of this year, the Anti-Santa lived up to this name and led the way as Janssen claimed 5 league victories in a row, a run of form that has seen us reach the summit of the CBL First Division, albeit with a few extra games played. It hasn’t all been down to Eoin’s class, however. Earlwood Estate’s answer to Denis Irwin, Pat Falvey, has been the epitome of consistency at left-back. Alan Morrissey’s and Eoin Moynihan’s contributions have been outstanding, the latter regularly squaring away any threats to our defence. Wingers Emmet Keoghan and Paul O’ Doherty, who famously dedicated his opening goal of the season to the people of Newcastlewest, have been extremely hardworking. Our midfield operators of Kevin O’ Neill, Stephen Crowley and Ronan Mangan have all played huge roles while 44-year-old Alan Murphy has rolled back the years to contribute handsomely. Record outfield appearance holder James O’ Sullivan has been radar-like with set-piece delivery, which is an excellent weapon to have for any team.
The players have been led on the field by club captain Barry Cantillon, the teak-tough Rochestown native putting in outstanding shifts in both midfield and defence. On behalf of Janssen FC, I would also like to congratulate and wish Barry all the best following the birth of his daughter Fiadh, who he and his partner Hayley welcomed on 29th February. We’ve been led off the field by Killarney’s very own Jurgen Klopp, Michael Stack. Stack’s versatility knows no bounds and he has also contributed on the field when needed, proving himself to be an asset to the club at right-back. He holds the CBL League Record for most throw-ins conceded in a single game, 633 in a 20-minute cameo versus CPL.
Janssen FC have thoroughly enjoyed the season so far. The league is excellently organized and it has proved to be a great way for colleagues to get to know one another, play a bit of ball and keep (relatively) fit. All players in our squad have been fantastic both on and off the field and have helped us out with the running of the club during the natural teething issues which have occurred during our first season. We’ve gotten excellent support from Janssen which is very much appreciated. A special mention too must go to Christy and groundsman Harvey at Mayfield Utd for their work accommodating our home games. Mayfield Park’s outstanding facilities has proved to be an excellent venue for our club and they have been a joy to work with. (Patrick Wiley, March 2020)