ROCKMOUNT football club continues to grow and there is no clearer sign of that than the work they are doing with their underage setup.
Children as young as four years of age are currently training with the Whitechurch-based outfit and getting the chance to don the famous club colours in friendlies at under seven level.
“I started helping out about two years ago because my small fella is playing with them,” said the U7 manager Cian McDonald.
“We have some kids that are only four-years-old but we are trying to bring them along with us into the U7s, we won’t turn anyone away.
It’s great, we have started teaching them the basics and now they are flying it just within the space of a short few months. It’s amazing the improvement they have made and us coaches get a great buzz out of seeing that.
“We play non-competitive games as well against other clubs which is a great start and gets them used to playing matches at a young age with the Rockmount jersey on.
“We played Leeds last week away in Leeds Park, we played three games of five aside and rotated them after 10 or 12 minutes so they all get enough game time.
“We usually have about 32 players that show up to our training sessions on a Sunday but because of holidays and stuff at the moment we have had about 15 or 16 at the games.
“There’s always a good bunch there, they love it. There’s about four or five lads helping me out and they are very good coaches.
“Noel Hennessy used to manage me when I was playing junior, his grandkids are playing with us as well so he has a fierce interest in it and he’s great to have around the place, he has a great knowledge of coaching.
“Noel knows how to keep them in line, but not in a bad way,” he laughs.
“Ciaran O’Sullivan is there as well, he used to play for the seniors and he was a brilliant player for Rockmount so it’s great to have him helping with the academy as well.
“There are great coaches involved so it’s a great place for kids to start playing.”
But despite the vast numbers they already have involved, with a new season just around the corner, McDonald insists Rockmount are always on the lookout for more players.
“A lot of the players are from Whitchurch, the area is getting very big now and a lot of players from the northside are now travelling out to us to play for Rockmount.
“Players are coming from everywhere now and we really welcome that. All players, in general, are welcome at the club, boys and girls.
“We will be starting a new U7s team in September so we will be looking to add more players to that team and join the players that will still be able to play under that age.
“It’s a great place to play and to learn about football and everyone is welcome here.”