Here We Are Doc of the Week

Here We Are

This is the story of how one football club made it back from the brink. After going out of business in 2012, Newry City AFC rose from the ashes and achieved two promotions in three years to sit just one tier below where they had been before their untimely demise. This fascinating documentary follows the team and many of those associated with the club throughout the entirety of the 2016-17 campaign as they aim for promotion yet again. Can they do it? eir sport 1, Mon, Dec 18th 21.30

Legendary Liverpool manager Bill Shankly once said that football was not a matter of life and death – it was much more important than that. It’s hard to know if he was being serious or not. Probably not, but after watching Here We Are, you wonder.

The project is a labour of love for director Ally McKenzie and producer Gareth McCullough who spent an entire year charting the highs and lows of the team’s journey back to the higher echelons of the Irish League. It’s been quite a trek for the club, its staff and supporters who, just a few short years ago, were staring into the abyss.

The previous incarnation of the club, Newry City FC, went out of business five years ago when they were in the Northern Ireland Football League (NIFL) Championship. It was a sad end to a journey that had lasted almost a century and even included an appearance in the Intertoto Cup in the late 1990s. It came following a winding-up order from the High Court as a result of non-payment to a previous manager who took and won an unfair dismissal case against them.

A remarkable journey

Determined that the story would not end there, the phoenix club reformed in 2013 and were granted a place in Mid-Ulster Intermediate B League. It was a demotion of three leagues and proved a difficult time for new manager Darren Mullen who was forced to pull together a team of virtual novices just to have enough players to take the field. But somehow they endured and, after achieving promotion in their first season, a remarkable journey had begun.

There is plenty of match footage and McKenzie enjoys full access to the dressing room for manager Mullen’s inspiring team talks. We get a bird’s eye view of proceedings as the team closes in on a place in the play-offs and a chance to bring senior league action back to The Showgrounds for the first time in five years. But Here We Are is about far more than just football. It is about life, hope and, ultimately, redemption – a testament to what can be achieved through dedication and hard work.


Some of the most interesting and revealing comments come from the two groundsmen who have been with the club for almost 30 years. They clearly take the same pride in what they do now as they did when they first started nearly three decades ago. In many ways, they are the very embodiment of Newry City AFC, part of its fabric and guardians of a flame that is very precious to the community it represents.

Harking back to when the club went out of business in 2012, Willie Young, who saw his first game with his father back in 1957, reveals his feelings of shock. Nobody was expecting it. Suddenly, he says, there was nothing to prepare for, nothing to do. He felt lost and spent that season walking the streets of the town. Both men have given a major part of their lives to the club and its successes over the past few years belong as much to them as anyone else.

Here We Are tells a remarkable story that has garnered plenty of attention on the international stage since its premiere in August. After winning the Audience Award and securing second place in the Best Feature Film category in the online TMFF-The Monthly Film Festival, it won the Award of Merit at the IndieFEST Film Awards in the US. You can be sure that there are plenty more to come as well.

Definitely worth a watch!

There are plenty of great documentaries to watch out for on the eir Sport pack every week. From football to golf, GAA, rugby, athletics and beyond, we’ve got something for everyone. Watch out next week for another fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse into the sporting world or go to for more sports news and stories or to find out more about how we're setting sport free.

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