Belfast Celtic have applied to join the Ulster Senior League, it has been confirmed.
Talks have been ongoing for several months now between the relevant parties.
This morning, the Ulster Senior League confirmed receipt of Belfast Celtic’s application to join its ranks.
Sport & Leisure Swifts, who currently play in the Premier Intermediate League, will go under the Belfast Celtic banner for the start of the 2019/20 season – and they now seem likely to be in the USL.
Last week, the USL executive informed its member clubs of the possibility of Belfast Celtic being accepted and delegates gave a positive response.
“Belfast Celtic have lodged an application form to the Ulster Senior League,” USL secretary Niall Callaghan said.
“We have been talking with their club officials for some time now and our own clubs were briefed at our last delegate meeting.
“The application is subject to approval, but we are hopeful now of welcoming the club into the Ulster Senior League.”
The addition of Belfast Celtic – whose home games would be at Donegal Celtic Park in west Belfast – would be a major shot in the arm to the Ulster Senior League. Following the recent withdrawal of Swilly Rovers, the USL is down to six teams: Bonagee United, Cockhill Celtic, Derry City Reserves, Fanad United, Finn Harps Reserves and Letterkenny Rovers.
Belfast Celtic FC withdrew from the Irish League in 1949. Belfast Celtic won 14 League titles and eight Irish Cups.
Although they haven’t competed for 70 years, Belfast Celtic are still third in the Northern Ireland roll of honour.
The Football Association of Ireland is also expected to announce a new Cup competition involving teams from the Ulster Senior League and the Connacht Football Association for the 2019/20 season.