The Official Site of Jersey Shore Boca Jr. FC

Jersey Boy Konopka Returns To Ireland – The Irish Emigrant
August 31, 2009

The Irish Emigrant
August 31, 2009

Jersey Boy Konopka Returns To Ireland

American Goalkeeper Signs With Sporting Fingal

Former Jersey Shore Boca standout Chris Konopka has put pen to paper and will continue his professional soccer career in Ireland for a second straight year as the Toms River native has joined the Dublin based Sporting Fingal of the League Of Ireland First Division.

Sporting Fingal was established in late 2007 and finished a credible third place in the club’s first season in senior football and are currently only six points adrift of the top spot in the First Division and challenging for promotion to the top flight – Konopka will be at the north side club at least until the end of the present season.

Sporting has also secured a spot in the quarter-final round of the FAI Cup and will play host to Shamrock Rovers in early September.

Former Republic of Ireland international Liam Buckley, who was on the books of Spanish giant Racing Santander early in his playing career, is the first team manager while John Devine, capped 30 times for the Republic of Ireland who also appeared 111 times for Arsenal of the English Premiership from 1974-1983, is Fingal’s first team coach.

League of Ireland veteran goalkeeper and former Shamrock Rovers standout Robbie Horgan directs the Fingal goalkeepers. The club’s home venue is Morton Stadium which was made famous by Irish athletes over the years.

Konopka made his debut for Sporting last Sunday in a League of Ireland A-Championship match away at Shamrock Rovers in a windswept Tallaght Stadium which the North Dublin side lost 2-1.

“Robbie contacted me a few weeks ago and explained his keeper situation to me. It all sounded very interesting. We finalized the details on Saturday July 25 and I landed in Dublin on Tuesday morning July 28 and signed my contract that afternoon. My deal is until the end of this season but has the potential to be extended into the future. Everything has been done first-class.” mentioned the 24 year-old Konopka.

“Sporting Fingal is well run club with a tremendous upside. My first training sessions with Liam, John and Robbie were no-nonsense and all of the players here have a great attitude. The facilities and surroundings are excellent. The team is challenging for spot at the top of the table and promotion to the Premiere Division next year. This is a very good environment for me to be in right now. I am very proud to be a part of Sporting Fingal and will try to help the team win promotion for next year any way I can. It also feels very good to be back in Ireland” Konopka finished.

Sporting Fingal’s new shot-stopper spent last year with Bohemians of Dublin winning two medals with the 2008 League of Ireland Premiere Division and FAI Cup champions.

It is believed that Konopka is the first American born soccer player in history to ever win the “Irish Double”.

The 6-ft 5-inch tall American dressed for all but one match during the Gypsies’ double title run and was the Bohs steady number two keeper last year behind back-to-back “Goalkeeper of the Year” winner Brian Murphy, who is being touted for a place in the senior Ireland squad and is now rumored to be on his way to Mick McCarthy’s Wolves.

Konopka made his ‘Bohs’ first-team debut on July 1, 2008 away at Derry City going the distance in the quarterfinals of the League of Ireland Cup.

He also impressed with the Bohemians reserve squad leading them to the League of Ireland A-Shield Championship game against Cork City and the League of Ireland A-League Championship final match against UCD last season.

He spent his first professional season in 2007 with the Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer.

The Irish Emigrant
August 31, 2009