WORK has commenced on the complete replacement of the pitch and sub-structure in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
County Board chairperson Tracey Kennedy revealed to the Echo that the work began last Monday on the project which she described as the most vital aspect of the entire stadium.
“That is obviously the case, having the perfect pitch, a reinforced surface and when the work is completed and the new pitch reseeded we will have that.
“The target is to have the pitch laid and seeded by the end of August to take advantage of the growth that is left in the year.
“That takes in the region of eight to 12 weeks and the target is to have everything ready for the start of the 2020 Allianz Leagues.’’
It’s unlikely that the county finals will take place in the new stadium although Ms Kennedy did not rule that out completely.
“We are not expecting to play the county finals there although I am not ruling that out altogether.
“If there was we’ll say great growth there in the next few months it could happen although it’s more probable that they will take place in Páirc Uí Rinn.
“We are fortunate to have an excellent alternative venue and the finals have been played there before and proved to be very successful.’’
The work on the new pitch is being carried out by SIS Pitches Ltd under the direction of their Chief Executive George Mullan.
“Only a small number of companies are capable of doing this type of work and this company is highly renowned inside and outside of the country.
“They are Irish-based, from Sligo, and we believe that when the work is completed and the pitch is ready for use again it will be second to none.
“We will have a reinforced surface which will be guaranteed and this will be a pitch for the future that will serve this county and country very well,” Ms Kenedy said.
The cost of the project, she said, is included in the overall cost of the new stadium which comes in at €95.8 million.
On the playing front, she believes that there is room for optimism on all fronts going forward.
“We were all disappointed with the hurlers' loss to Kilkenny but the turnaround in fortunes for the footballers has been phenomenal.
“Our U20 footballers had a great Munster victory while the hurlers are more than capable of coming back after the loss to Tipperary and we’d hope that the All-Ireland series for both teams can be very successful without taking anything for granted.”
On the managerial front, Ms Kennedy said that they’ll be sitting down with all the team managements once their campaign is completed.
“Everything will be reviewed, all the terms of office are up apart from the senior football management but we’ll sit down with all of them.
“We would hope to be in a position to announce the new High-Performance Director by the middle of August and nothing will be decided until then. That process is well advanced.’’
The Cork chair also paid tribute to the clubs across the county for their co-operation in the completion of the various leagues under the County Board’s jurisdiction.
“The new league format and its timing has proved to be very successful and I want to thank the clubs for buying into it.
“I believe that it’s right that our secondary competitions should be completed at this time of the year when conditions are suitable as they might not be in November and December.
“The clubs bought into this and it’s been a resounding success.
“We will be back in full swing now in early August with our championship fixtures and it will be all systems go on that front and we’ll all be hoping for some great games in both codes across the county.”