THE Cork City Football Club (CCFC) Centre of Excellence in Glanmire is said to be “shovel-ready” with approved planning permission and construction “ready to go.”
The Centre of Excellence project was launched in December 2016. The proposed 30-acre site will provide training facilities for Cork City Football Club at Brook Lodge, Glanmire, eight kilometres outside Cork city.
The centre will house a purpose-built pavilion with viewing area, which will include a classroom, gymnasium, dressing rooms, physiotherapy, and medical and team rooms, as well as a community area, and other purpose-built facilities.
There will also be three full-size natural turf pitches (two with floodlighting), one full-size artificial turf pitch with floodlighting, three small-sided floodlit artificial turf pitches, and a goalkeeper training area.
The centre — which is hoped to be an asset to players, referees and coaches from around the whole Munster region — will be used for a wide range of functions including community football programmes and pre-season training camps for visiting teams.
According to CCFC operations manager Éanna Buckley, the project is a partnership among the FAI, Cork City Council, and FORAS/Cork City FC.
“Funding will be applied for by the FAI under the Large Scale Sports Infrastructure Fund, which is a new infrastructure fund announced by the Minister a few months ago, and the closing date for that fund is in April.
“Funding from the FAI is already in place, so we hope the Government funding will fall into place soon, meaning the whole thing will come together and work can begin in the near future.”
Mr Buckley said that the centre is part of an overall FAI strategy, whereby they plan to have a number of centres of excellence around the country, with Glanmire being the centre for Munster. Cork County Council has given the land, and Mr Buckley said they have been hugely supportive of the project.
“For Cork City, we are a club that is constantly growing every year. As well as the first team, we now have four underage academy teams (Under-13, 15, 17, and 19), a women’s team and women’s Under 17s and an amputee team.
“Having a base which can cater for all of these teams is vital to the continued growth and progression of the club and, of course, while Cork City will be anchor tenants, this centre of excellence will be a huge asset for the football family across all of Cork and, indeed, all of Munster. While it will be a base for Cork City FC, it will also be a teaching and training centre where not only players but referees and coaches will get the opportunity to learn and develop their skill sets.”
Work on the project had been expected to begin in 2017 and it is expected it will take approximately two and a half years to complete.