On Saturday last, FAI General Manager, Noel Mooney made his way to Colemanstown United FC (although a few thought he got caught in a traffic jam in Tiaquin) accompanied by Ger McDermott, Club & League Development Manager & Vincent Foley, Club Education & Support Officer to formally open the gates to our new facilities. These facilities consist of a 2nd playing pitch which has given the club a new lease of life together with a tarmac perimeter walkway incorporating outdoor gym equipment provided and expertly fitted by Chris Glynn, OUTFIT Outdoor Fitness Equipment Ltd., Kiltimagh, Co. Mayo.
It is an amazing achievement for the club to provide a full size playing surface solely and completely from fundraising initiatives while the provision of the gym equipment was also made possible by LEADER Funding coupled with further fundraising and lots of hard work.
The formal opening day created an opportunity for all present to celebrate this amazing milestone for the club. At this stage, we must thank chairman Adrian Burke who drove a full clean-up of our grounds both internally & externally – a clean-up which was referred to as ‘the Mother of all Stations’.
Speeches were made by Chairman Adrian Burke who advised that Colemanstown United were also “celebrating the FAI Club of the Year 2019″ which is not just a measure of success achieved on the field of play but an acknowledgement that the club is in good standing in the areas of governance, child welfare and financial matters. The award meant a lot to the club, the community and in particular to the committee who work tirelessly to set the standards and maintain these standards as a club. It is an indication and validation that what the club is doing as a committee is right!!” Adrian also complimented former committees of the club for their vision and foresight in realising the development of the existing clubhouse and spectator stand. He paid tribute to patrons Frank & Bernie Burke as without their generosity many years ago, there may not be a Colemanstown United FC today. He also thanked the many contractors involved in laying the new pitch & Frank Keane, GRD as well as Ita Kenny & Kathleen Cannon and their invaluable employees.
Director of Football, Robbie Parker also thanked former players & committee who “established a footprint in the community where dreams could come true”. He spoke about the meaning of the recently achieved club mark which “gave the committee the confidence to go on the Club of the Year journey” which itself is another story. Robbie spoke of the true meaning of community involvement and how the club is completely “intertwined with the wider community”
FAI’s General Manager Noel Mooney who became a father only 4 weeks ago hoped his son would belong to a club like Colemanstown who ‘have credibility, are properly governed and well structured’. He complimented the vision of former committee members and said it wouldn’t be too long before Colemanstown would be the Real Madrid of Galway and would have International teams coming down to train in Colemanstown!!. He looked forward to hearing about Colemanstown United when he would return to his old familiar UEFA role in Switzerland in a few weeks time. He also commented on the fact that both pitches were being utilised for competitive matches on the day.
Following the speeches, the dignitaries headed to the pitch for the official ribbon-cutting ceremony accompanied by many youngsters donned in their club colours. There were also pennants presented in friendship to the FAI & to Frank & Bernie Burke for their long lasting sponsorship. At last, the hard work is physically evident and we would have to admit: ‘The place looks great’.
Thanks to all who came in support on the day – players, parents, coaches etc and to the many Galway FA officials including GFA Secretary, Ger Treacy & Fixtures Manager, Terry Lee as well as Connacht FA Administrator Art Friel. It was lovely to see a large number of former committee members present on the day and indeed Noel Mooney had great conversation reminiscing about bygone days in the early years of the club.
Thanks to the many fantastic volunteers who helped out in so many ways in the lead up to our official opening: cleaners, painters, fence erectors, those who raised the bunting & flags and those who helped out on the day as stewards and in car parking management. Thanks to our splendid bakers who supplied yet another almighty spread of gourmet food, both sweet & savoury. Thanks to Bernie for her infamous soup & to 11 year Joshua Buckley and mum Orla for the cake in the replica of the layout of both pitches. Big thanks also to the catering team who kept things ticking over in the kitchen while everyone got the opportunity to view a near enough replica of the booth which was displayed for the Club of the Year awards as well as drone footage recorded by Billy Lally, Ballymacward. Sincere thanks also to John Harte and Donal Murphy who were snap happy all day. Photos to follow in the next few days. We also say thank you to GRD who have completely revamped the ‘old’ changing rooms to a high standard which has brought back many fond memories for our older members and former committee.
It is with your help and input and with the unfailing generous support of all parents, players, sponsors & members both financially & otherwise down through the years that Colemanstown United have realised the next chapter of their dream. Let the next chapter begin! But not for a little while yet! The batteries require re-charge first.
Photos show Noel Mooney, FAI General Manager preparing to cut the ribbon to officially open our new facilities and club patrons Frank & Bernie Burke & daughter Catherine displaying the pennant presented to them by the club in friendship.