Cork County Council has agreed to lease 30 acres of its land to the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) for a €10m regional centre of soccer excellence in Glanmire.
It is expected the FAI will lodge a planning application for the project within the next three months. It will include plans to develop four full-size turf pitches, one full-size artificial pitch, six smaller artificial pitches, and two smaller turf pitches.
The plan — exclusively revealed by the Irish Examiner on May 27 — also includes a pavilion with viewing area, gym, dressing rooms, physiotherapy room, medical room, cafeteria, kitchen, administration offices, and meeting room for the local community.
The council agreed to provide the FAI with a nominal long-term lease for the land at Brooklodge, Glanmire, which will provide training and playing facilities for players of all ages, coaches, referees and administrators in the Munster region.
The FAI said it will be one of three centres of excellence nationally to support the delivery of the FAI’s soon-to-be-launched player development plan.
The deal is also great news for FORAS, the trust which runs Cork City FC, as it will provide the club with a permanent training base.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr John Paul O’Shea, said he was delighted an FAI’s centre of excellence would be located in the county: “
It is fantastic to see that through the collaboration of Cork County Council, the FAI, and local stakeholders Munster will have a world-class facility to nurture talent and provide development opportunities for generations to come.”
In addition to Cork City FC’s training needs, activities will include FAI coach education, emerging talent and referee training programmes, Education and Training Board local training initiatives, local club matches, and community football programmes.
FAI chief executive John Delaney said Brooklodge could also be used as a training base for teams competing in the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament, for which Ireland is hosting a minimum of four matches, or as a training base for one of the teams competing in the 2023 Rugby World Cup should the IRFU’s bid be successful.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved