FAI Chief Executive John Delaney has revealed plans to spend €10m on a centre of excellence on the outskirts of Cork City.
The plan is to build a centre on a 30 acre Glanmire site in conjunction with Foras, the co-operative who run Cork City FC.
“We are looking for a 99-year lease on the land which is owned by Cork County Council. We have spoken to the council’s executive about the plan and they’ve favourably received it,” Delaney told the Irish Examiner.
Delaney said the centre would have benefits for FAI development and Cork City, but would also be available for use by locals.
“I’m very much excited by it. There are three strands to this,” he explained. “Cork City FC will get a permanent training ground and pitches for its U19 and U17 teams.
“The facilities will also support the development of young players operating within the FAI’s regional squad structures and support the growth and development of football within the province. Local kids and clubs will also be able to use it.”
The centre will include include four full-sized turf pitches, one full-sized artificial pitch, six smaller artificial pitches, and two smaller turf pitches. An adjoining pavilion will contain a viewing area as well as changing rooms and treatment facilities.
Republic of Ireland assistant manager and Cork native Roy Keane supports the development.
“Nothing would please me more than to see high-quality players and coaches from Munster being provided with the best opportunity to achieve their potential,” Keane said.
“For true potential to be developed, appropriate facilities are a prerequisite”.
The FAI plan is for the development to be completed within two years.
That way it would be available for use both in Euro 2020, when Ireland are set to host at least four matches, and also as a training base if Ireland’s bid for the 2023 Rugby World Cup bid is successful.