The Football Association of Ireland, Cork County Council and FORAS together launched the project to develop a Munster Centre of Excellence for football in Cork.
At an event in Cork County Hall, details of the project were announced for the football facility, which will support the provision of training, participation and playing facilities for players of all ages, coaches, referees and administrators, and one which aims to nurture and develop Irish talent.
The site in question will also provide training facilities for Cork City Football Club at a 30-acre site in Glanmire, 8 kilometres outside Cork city. Away from the domestic game, the proposed facility has also been identified as a potential Training Camp for teams competing in the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament.
This vision, led by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) and supported by both FORAS and Cork County Council, will act as a catalyst to unify the different strands of the game in Munster. Work on the project is expected to begin in 2017, and is expected to be completed within two-and-a-half years.
FAI CEO John Delaney was quick to pay tribute to the partnerships which are nurturing this project, commenting that, “I would like to thank Cork County Council and Cork City/FORAS for the great work that has already been done on this exciting project.
“This is a multi-partnership project, which will include the FAI, Cork County Council, Cork City FC and FORAS, local businesses, a potential naming rights partner, UEFA and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, and I look forward to working with all parties in the months and years ahead.”
Away from the national game, the FAI CEO always stressed Cork City FCs connections to the facilities, and the wider Cork Community: “as well as being a training centre and base for Cork City FC, this will be a community facility which will be open for players of all ages, coaches, referees, volunteers and administrators. This will be there for all levels of the game, from our grassroots to our professionals.
Pat Lyons, Chairman of Cork City FC, said today: “I am very pleased to be attending this launch on behalf of FORAS and Cork City Football Club. The history of League of Ireland football on Leeside has had many ups and downs, but no club has ever truly established a permanent base. Since FORAS assumed control of the club in 2010, this has been a key aim of ours and we are delighted to see the progress that is being made.”
Construction work on the project, which is currently at an advanced planning phase, is expected to begin in the coming months, and will contain three full-size natural turf pitches (two of which will have floodlighting installed), one full size artificial turf pitch with Floodlighting, three small sided floodlit artificial turf pitches, and a goalkeeper training area
The Centre will also house a purpose-built pavilion with viewing area, which will include a classroom, gymnasium, dressing rooms, physiotherapy, a medical room and team rooms, as well as a community area, and other purpose built facilities.