Home Sport Soccer Midlands soccer league announce purchase of land with plans for centre of...

Midlands soccer league announce purchase of land with plans for centre of excellence

Midlands League Land Clara

The Midlands Schoolboy/girls League has recently completed the purchase of a 27-acre land holding outside Clara in Offaly.

The juvenile soccer league, which caters for children in Laois, says it has purchased the land 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.

Speaking about the proposed development, 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.

They will also make representations to all the political figures from the area seeking their support for this ambitious project for the midlands.

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 to €45.000 per season in the hire of grounds to train and play matches for all our ETP squads”.

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.