Home turf keeps getting better

Minister of State for Sport, Brendan Griffin, and FAI Chief Executive John Delaney share a lighthearted moment at the pitch opening on Monday night

FORMER Kerry soccer double champions Killarney Athletic AFC have unveiled a new state-of-the-art all-weather astro training facility which will be put to great use by the hundreds of players, at all age groups, on the club’s books during the winter months

The successful club, fresh from its first ever league and cup double in the 2016/17, is making plans for the future and is anxious to provide top class facilities for the huge influx of juvenile clubs as well as the current crop of players at all levels.

FAI Chief Executive Officer, John Delaney, and Minister of State for Sport, Brendan Griffin, visited the Killarney Athletic AFC base at Woodlawn on Monday night to officially open the new facility and to hear of the ambitious plans for the club going forward.

The new astro turf pitch in Woodlawn

At the start of the year Mr Delaney confirmed the allocation of FAI grant assistance to the tune of €40,000 towards the all-weather pitch project. This was in addition to the sports capital grant of €41,000 for the astro-turf development announced by Minister Griffin before the close of 2017.

That was part a massive cash windfall of almost €2 million in the annual allocation of sports capital grants with Killarney clubs benefiting enormously.

Also in attendance at Monday night’s ribbon cutting ceremony were Kerry District League Chairman, Sean O’Keeffe, long-serving KDL Secretary John O’Regan, Athletic Chairman Michael O’Shea and long-serving club officials Don O’Donoghue, Michael O’Sullivan and Donie Murphy.

Club members and coaches will be attendance and young club members, aged from six to 10, turned out in their gear to display their skills under the supervision of Athletic’s UEFA A licensed coach JP Mullins.

Athletic won the Premier League title in Kerry soccer for the first time in their history in the 2016/17 season and they followed that up with a thrilling KO Cup victory over local rivals Killarney Celtic to complete a memorable double.

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