CASTLELACK FC have increased their membership hugely since moving to their new home ground at Brinny.
MSD Brinny and local football team, Castlelack FC have teamed up for the official opening of their new home soccer grounds beside the company’s site outside Innishannon, Cork.
The Castlelack FC and MSD Brinny collaboration commenced in 2017 when the company agreed a long-term lease for the club to develop the grounds consisting of two full size grass soccer playing pitches and a training area on a six acres site adjacent to the MSD Brinny facility in Innishannon, County Cork.
With the assistance of Sports Capital Programme Grant and many hours of voluntary help the development of the soccer grounds commenced in May 2020.
The club has also recently been granted planning permission for temporary changing rooms, toilet facilities and associated works and are driving to commence these works later in 2022.
Speaking on the partnership, Matt Maher, Plant Manager, MSD Brinny commented: “At MSD Brinny we firmly believe that the most important thing we make is a difference – to patients, to our employees and to the communities we operate in.
"We are very committed members of our local community and are extremely proud of how much Castlelack FC club has developed and grown since undertaking this project.
"It is particularly commendable given how difficult the last two years have been for everyone.
"We are really looking forward to getting back to supporting other community projects also this year, such as our local Innishannon Steam Rally, Bandon Playground Group and resuming our annual volunteering day which sees a significant number of our employees supporting local causes.” Since Castlelack FC commenced playing in Brinny in July 2021, its membership base has increased exponentially.
Prior to moving to Brinny there were approximately 60 children in the club's under-age Academy.
Since moving to the new home ground, Academy numbers have increased almost three-fold to over 160 members with over a third of these being young girls.
Tadhg Curtain, Chairperson, Castlelack FC, is thrilled with the club's new ground and believes it’s the beginning of great things for the club.
“The sun is really shining down on us as we officially open our new ground. We would not have been able to do this without the support and encouragement from MSD Brinny.
“Their commitment and engagement throughout has been a key part of securing our growing club has a long-term future.
As the numbers are ever increasing in the female game, the club is always on the lookout for female coaches and helpers and would encourage anyone to get involved and enjoy the club's progression and development.
"Our new home is fantastic and I have no doubt the facilities will attract more players over the years.”
Castlelack FC play in the West Cork Schoolboys and Schoolgirls league in age groups ranging from the Academy (5-9) and U10 up to U16.
They also compete in the West Cork League with U19, Junior and Masters (Over33) teams competing here.
Young and old participate from the local community as well as surrounding areas from Innishannon, Newcestown, Bandon, Crookstown, Aherla, Cloughduv and beyond.
For the past number of years Castlelack has also been one of the biggest venues in the country to host an FAI summer camp.
Numbers on the camp continue to increase each year with an average of 90 kids from the age of five to 14, both male and female.
From those camps, children from the area and surrounding communities have gone on to sign up for the club which has helped their club grow in membership. Having a new home ground will facilitate the ever growing club.
The official opening was attended by players, community, volunteers, and neighbours and was officially opened by County Mayor Gillian Coughlan.
Castlelack are lucky to have the support from MSD Ireland who are one of the country’s leading healthcare companies, having first established here over 50 years ago.
They have a dynamic and diverse team of over 2,800 employees currently across six sites in Ballydine, Co Tipperary, Brinny, Co Cork, Dunboyne, Co Meath, Carlow and Dublin, and, in addition, operate substantial Human Health and Animal Health businesses.
In total to date, they have invested over $4 billion in their Irish operations and their annual turnover ranks them as one of Ireland’s top 20 companies.
At MSD Ireland, they work at the forefront of science and technology to advance manufacturing excellence and R&D across their Irish sites and global company network.
With a long-standing footprint in Ireland, their Irish sites manufacture approximately half of MSD’s top twenty products, helping save and enhance lives in over sixty countries around the world.
The company continue to support local clubs and Castlelack are just one of many clubs who have benefited hugely from their support.
To increase the participation of kids involvement in sport has been a main focus for both the company and club and through the new home ground, they hope to continue growing the club in terms in membership.