Category: General

Chairman Martin McLoughlin and Vice Chairman Gary Wilson with Damien Hillen new NCAFC Academy Manager. Brendan Monaghan Photography

Newry City AFC appoint new Academy Director

Newry City AFC are delighted to announce Damien Hillen as our new Newry City AFC Academy Director.

NCAFC Chairman Martin McLoughlin commented “The future of any club is its youth and in particular it’s Academy.  With a major project planned to install a new 3G facility behind our main pitch in the coming months we have decided to try a local angle for the academy and with that in mind we have recruited from within the first team coaching staff and are delighted to announce that Damien Hillen has agreed to take over the role of Academy Director. Damien comes with a wealth of experience and a great knowledge of the local soccer scene.
“We are excited for the future of our academy and look forward to building more locally sourced teams. In time we hope Newry City will be a hub for soccer and Damien we feel is the ideal candidate to help accomplish that goal.
“Our outgoing Academy Manager Francis Brennan has been instrumental in the building of our academy from its inception to what it is now and we thank him wholeheartedly for his efforts to date.  We wish Fra well in his coaching and soccer careers and look forward to welcoming him to The Showgrounds in the future.”


Damien Hillen NCAFC Academy Director. Brendan Monaghan Photography
Damien Hillen NCAFC Academy Director. Brendan Monaghan Photography

Damien Hillen commented “I am delighted to be appointed Academy Director at Newry City AFC. This is a significant role of real importance, and I look forward to building on the excellent foundations already in place.

“My focus is on making our Academy the number one choice for local players and their parents. We are building a culture of learning and development, where highly qualified coaches will provide a pathway for young players to progress into senior football at Newry or beyond.

“With the development of the new 3G pitch, it’s an exciting time to join the academy and together, we will create an environment where young talented players can flourish and achieve their full potential.”



Cover Photo: Chairman Martin McLoughlin and Vice Chairman Gary Wilson with Damien Hillen new NCAFC Academy Director.

Brendan Monaghan PhotographyPhotographs Courtesy of Brendan Monaghan Photography.

Funding secured for 3G Pitch

Newry City AFC Board of Directors can today confirm that their applications for funding for the development of a new 3G Synthetic Playing Pitch, Floodlights and Fencing for the Club have been successful.

 The new development will be located at the “Back Pitch” at Newry Showgrounds and is the first phase of a very ambitious Strategic Plan for the Club.

One of the main sources of funding for this project is the Irish FA/DCMS Grassroots Facilities Investment Fund. This fund, supported by the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport, is administered by the Irish FA supported by Co-operation Ireland.  The Club also received financial support from Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and Community Finance Ireland.

Club Chairman Martin Mc Loughlin stated, “Today is a very special day for Newry City AFC and is the culmination of many years of dedicated work by our Board. I would like to personally thank our funders for having the courage to support our Club, namely; Department of Culture Media and Sport, Irish Football Association, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and Community Finance Ireland

Martin continued, “This development will have a major impact on the future of our club and will hopefully lead to a very positive influence on all those involved with the club. Our Youth Academy will now have state of the art facilities to develop their plans and we feel this project will attract many new players and coaches to our teams.

The development will enhance grassroots sport in the City of Newry and the South East Region. The new facility will be an asset that will benefit the wider community and enable local people to get active to improve health and wellness in our city.

In conclusion, I would like to thank all those people both internally and externally for helping us get to this massive investment announcement today and I look forward to March 2024 when the groundwork for our new 3G Pitch commences”.

Irish FA CEO Patrick Nelson said: “Good grassroots football facilities means a better experience for everyone participating in the game, at whatever level they’re at.

 “This funding will provide 11 new artificial grass pitches and upgrade six existing pitches across Northern Ireland.

 “It aligns with our commitment to support new and improved facilities and, with the hosting of the UEFA EURO 2028 in the UK and Ireland, it is crucial that the grassroots game across the nation benefits from investment too.”


Newry City Athletic Football Club are delighted to announce the appointment of Barry Gray as first team manager on a long term deal.

Selected following a competitive recruitment process, Barry returns to the club having previously worked with our underage teams and brings a wealth of experience, having managed at the top level with both Cliftonville and Warrenpoint Town.

Speaking to the club media team Barry Gray commented:

“It’s great to get things finalised and the formalities over. We have a tough challenge ahead and I am under no illusions how tough it is to get off the bottom of the table in such a competitive league. “I am looking forward to getting in and working with the players, a lot of them I have worked with before or I am familiar with already. “My job is to try and secure Newry’s premiership status with whatever it takes to do so. The players no doubt are a little low on confidence at the minute and struggling for form, but this is an opportunity for everyone to reset and focus on a fresh start. “We have a lot to do in the coming weeks and months, we will prioritise the most appropriate games and concentrate on raising standards and performance levels. “We have good players here and performances may have been lower than expected but now is the time to stand up and be counted. We will get to work right away and hopefully see performance levels and results improve quickly.”

Club Chairman, Martin McLoughlin added:

“Firstly let me give a warm welcome to Barry Gray.

“Barry comes to us at a time when we need someone to lead us out of the difficult spell we have been going through and someone who can restore the confidence that has been lacking of late within our squad.

“With almost 20 years coaching experience at the highest level with spells at Cliftonville and our neighbours Warrenpoint Town, he has earned much respect and built up a network of very valuable contacts. Barry is a Newry man by birth and we feel that he is exactly what we need to help us retain our premiership status.
“I would like to thank Gary Boyle for his efforts and commitment throughout his seven years at the club and in particular over the past seven months.
“We are under no illusions about the task ahead and the dedication and efforts needed, but having spoken to Barry at length, we believe he has the passion and the drive to give us a fighting chance.
“We hope all at The Showgrounds get behind Barry and his team.
“Welcome home Barry.”



Newry City Athletic Football Club invites expressions of interest for the position of first team manager. The candidate must have at least a valid UEFA A Licence. Interested parties can send an expression of interest and an accompanying CV to club chairman Martin McLoughlin in strict confidence at:

Closing date for expression of interest is 5pm on Monday 1st January 2024.

Goalkeepers Tom Murphy and Stevie Maguire modelling their new kits alongside Club Captain Darren King in our home strip and Thomas Lockhart modelling our new away strip.

New Home & Away Kits for the 2023/24 Season

Newry City AFC are delighted to release our Home and Away kits for the 2023/24 season in the Northern Ireland Football League Sports Direct Premiership.

We would like to thank our sponsors for their ongoing support and sponsoring this years kits:

  • HMT Group
  • Around A Pound
  • Trainors Bar @ Dans
  • Kehoe Kars
  • Crillys Sweets
  • Newmay Electrical
  • Water Solutions Ireland
  • McSwiggans Bar
  • The Road Ahead Foundation
  • Canal Court Hotel
  • Clanrye Taxis
  • McDonalds
  • McCaul Signs
  • Warde Groupage


We are also delighted to continue our partnership with the Southern Area Hospice Services and will be launching a new ‘Third Strip’ in the coming weeks which will be worn in Cup Competitions with prominence given to the Hospice logo on the front of the jersey.

Kits will be available at The Showgrounds and on line to buy soon. Watch out on social media for updates.

Full white & red – Goalkeepers kits. Blue & white – home kit. Grey – away kit.

Photographs courtesy of Brendan Monaghan Photography