CARBERY RANGERS GAA Club recently carried out major redevelopment work on their Newtown pitch.
The Rosscarbery-based club have constructed an astroturf pitch complete with lighting.
The progressive club have also upgraded the lights and improved the drainage on the Newtown pitch.
Chair of the development committee John Murphy Jnr is thrilled with the finished product.
“It was important we carried out these extensive works as we strive to meet the expectations of all club players.
“We have achieved that with this redevelopment. It will be a great asset to the club and community going forward,” declared the club stalwart.
The club initially decided to drain the playing surface in Newtown, but the project snowballed which ensured the club decided to embark on a major redevelopment revealed John.
“Newtown would be considered the spiritual home of Carbery Rangers. The whole process took around three years.
“There was a big project of work between planning the works and getting the planning permission over the line.
“We visited other clubs who have engaged in similar projects. The astroturf quickly became part of the project.
“We ended up doing a total redevelopment of the whole facility. We began with major drainage works on the main pitch.
“We also had to reduce the size of that existing pitch to accommodate the astroturf. The fact that we have a great pitch in Ardagh meant we could afford to make changes to the Newtown pitch.
“As the project evolved, we were also able to construct a walkaway around the perimeter of the pitch which will facilitate walkers and members of the local athletic club. It will be ideal for all members of our community.”
The club were tight on space, but they managed to construct a fine astroturf pitch which will prove so beneficial for all club players said the decorated former player.
“It will be used for all age groups, from U6 all the way up to senior level. The ladies football club will also use it.
“There are growing numbers in both clubs and it is important we provide a top facility for them. It will be in use the whole year around.
“Players can train on it when pitches are bad and the weather is inclement. It will help develop and improve players.
“We are delighted with the finished product. It will prove a huge asset to the club.”
The club officer paid tribute to the great fundraising work carried out by members of their local community in the last few years which have helped offset the financial cost of this ambitious project.
“We have received great goodwill from the community. They have held several fundraisers in recent years which have been a huge help in terms of raising a considerable amount of money.
“The residents in Newtown also deserve to be acknowledged, as they were so supportive in the project from start to finish.”
The scale of the project ensured that a huge effort was required from all club members. Unity and strategic planning were key factors in the success of this project.
John paid tribute to his fellow committee members who all contributed hugely to the great finish.
“There was a 12-man committee involved in the whole process. We then got a consultant on board who helped move us along further and set us up for going to tender.
“There was a big volume of work involved and it took a long time, but it was worth it. This project was vital as we wanted to meet the expectations of all the players and I think we have received that. The feedback has been very positive from all sectors.
“It was very satisfying to see the completed finish.”
Grants from various bodies were also gratefully received and were vital in helping Rangers achieve their aims of providing a top class astroturf facility for all their players and members of the community.
Restoring the facility in Newtown represents a huge sense of satisfaction for club members revealed John.
“We got a capital grant which was a huge help. Newtown has always played a huge part in our history since it was bought back in 1970.
“Ciaran Calnan did a lot of great work in that era. It will be a huge hub for all our underage activity. The playing surface now in Newtown is immaculate.
“There is generally activity on there every evening which is great to see, between ladies football and underage grades. It is great to see the place thriving.
“It is important to provide great facilities for the current and future generations going forward.”
John is very confident Carbery Rangers GAA Club is well poised for a successful future.
“Club membership is very strong. The club is in a very strong place. There are great people doing so much work behind the scenes driving everything on.
“We have a fantastic chairman in John Murphy. He displays great leadership. He played a huge part in driving this successful project on.
“He was also a key figure in the big project in Ardagh back in the day. His legacy is there for all to see. We are also very fortunate in the sense that our players are great to give back to the club.
“They are always on hand from a coaching perspective. They are great ambassadors and role models in their local community.”