Latest Laois Sport: Midlands to get its own Football Centre of Excellence

Latest Laois Sport: Midlands to get its own Football Centre of Excellence

First step taken toward Football Centre of Excellence for Midlands

The Executive Committee of the Midlands Schoolboy / girls league is delighted to announce that it has recently completed the purchase of a 27-acre land holding outside Clara, Co. Offaly for the purpose of constructing a new state-of-the-art football centre of excellence for the midlands’ region. 

This proposed new facility will give both players and coaches from Offaly, Laois, Westmeath, Roscommon and into East Galway the best possible foundation for their footballing education and overall development both on and off the pitch. They will have access to multiple pitches –  grass and artificial –  dressing rooms, classrooms, gymnasium, and video analysis rooms on a phased basis across a multi-year development. 

MSL secretary Derek Collins at the entrance to new land recently purchased by the MSL

There are currently no FAI certified full-size astro turf pitches in Laois or Offaly.

Speaking about the proposed development the Hon. Secretary of the MSL Derek Collins said: “This proposed development is going to be a significant advantage to players and coaches from the midlands area. We now have close to 5,500 players playing in our area. It will hopefully allow us to see more and more players from the area go on to play at the top level of football, both home and abroad, and will cement our place as one of the top regions in the country for both player and coach development allowing each and everyone to maximise their full potential.” 

With the land purchase now complete, the Executive Committee has now begun the process of engaging a design team to commence the planning application process as soon as possible as well as making representations to all the political figures from the area seeking their support for this ambitious project for the midlands.

Map of Property Clara CO. Offaly 2022 by John Hayes on Scribd

Regarding the current financial climate in Ireland Mr Collins said: “The league will not be imposing any extra financial burden on our clubs and the league will form a fundraising committee. Through that committee, and grants from government bodies and a main sponsor, we hope to develop the land over several years in stages. At present the league is paying between €40,000.00 to €45.000.00 per season in the hire of grounds to train and play matches for all our ETP squads”.