TRAMORE Athletic will soon have their first all-weather Astro-Turf facility and it’s set to be a game-changer.
The Douglas-based club will be shortly embarking on its biggest project to date with the construction of a state-of-the-art all-weather Astroturf training facility which will consist of an LED floodlighting system.
The 60x30m Fifa-approved playing surface will be installed on a shock pad system and will cost in the region of €200,000.
This project has been in the planning for a number of years but the club felt with their ever-growing members and the fact the club was spending considerable resources on hiring astro facilities from other clubs for training during the winter months, it was the right time to commence the project.
After an extensive tender process, the project committee decided to appoint JNC premier pitches as contractors who will also provide jersey sponsorship to the club for the upcoming season.
Treasurer of the club Paul O’Connell is excited with the new project.
“It’s a game-changer for the club basically to have this facility,” said O’Connell.
“We hope it will attract new members to the club and also for the current players and management, it will great to no longer train in the muck and under the old poor quality lights.
“We want to get the word out there that Tramore is in the heart of Douglas. At times it’s sad to know that some of the younger generation in Cork are not so familiar with our club or even know where we are located.
“We are hoping to attract new players to the club with this new facility particularly as most boys/girls in the area would previously have been more attracted to other local clubs such as Douglas Hall or Corinthians, mainly because of their facilities.
The club currently has 200 members and caters for nine teams as well as its academy. The academy caters for boys and girls from the ages of five to 10 and added with six teams in the Cork Schoolboys League, two teams in the Cork Youth League, and one team in the Munster Senior League, the club is in a healthy state.
Like all clubs, it takes huge commitment, dedication, and effort from so many volunteers and O’Connell is very praiseful to all involved.
“A facility like this would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the hard work done over the years by everyone that gave up their time in some capacity. There are too many to mention however two names that spring to mind are Derry O’Callaghan and Jerry Twomey. Both men still very much involved with the club and have been for decades.
Kieran McCarthy and Stuart McTaggart are also part of the junior management team and they also, have given a lot of their time to the club over the years. These men, I’m sure, will be very proud of the new facility.
“We would like to thank Brendan Sheehan of BJS consultants engineers who assisted in every aspect of the project.
“To the Tramore project team who worked tirelessly to make sure this facility would be provided to the kids of our club, Derek O’Gorman, Barry Gould Jr, Jason Blessing, and Tony Cashman. Without their hard work and determination, it would never have been possible.
“We were very grateful to the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport who awarded the club €100,000 in sports capital grant funding.
“Other supporters of the project were Cork City Council who awarded the club €10,500 through its sports capital grant scheme, Sarah Leahy from Clann Credo who will be providing loan finance for the project, and Adrian Cummins from contractors JNC premier pitches, all are very much appreciated.
“We are really looking forward to work commencing on July 20. It’s a 10-week build and we are hoping to have it completed by end of September which is the ideal time to have it finished due to the shorter nights. That’s the aim and I have no doubt we will reach that target.
“Our plan is to use the facility as much as we can. Once we finalise time slots for our own teams we will then have slots available for other clubs/teams to rent. This will obviously be of benefit to us bringing in income while stopping our outgoing previous costs of hiring similar facilities at other clubs.
"We imagine it would be in use five nights a week which will also bring some atmosphere to the locality especially during the dark winter months. It will be great to see the place lit up.
“It’s difficult to say at the moment how many players at once the pitch will facilitate until we know the proper guidelines for social distancing, however, the pitch will be divided by a curtain so the aim is to have two five-a-side matches take place at the same time so that’s 20 players in total.
“If the curtain is not been used then a nine-a-side match can take place comfortably.
“At the moment we have two grass pitches and they will not be affected by the new facility. The top pitch which will be adjacent to the astro pitch will be moved a few yards to the left, but apart from that there will be no disruptions and it will be great to have three playing areas in the ground.
"The club are always looking for new players to join so if interested please contact Paul on 0863580214 or Tramoreathletic afc cork on Facebook. It’s been a long journey but the future is bright for Tramore Athletic.”