Walsh Park revamp depends on lottery money, says Flynn

A PLANNED €5.5million revamp of Walsh Park is dependent on National Lottery funding, according to Waterford chairman Pat Flynn.

Mr Flynn yesterday insisted the board’s funds wouldn’t be sufficient to meet that level of debt.

“We have made an application for funding from the National Lottery, and the further development of Walsh Park in the short term will depend on how that application is dealt with.”

A planning application has been lodged with Waterford City Council and involves the erection of a second covered and seated stand opposite the existing one.

It is also proposed to upgrade the terracing at both ends of the ground and provide special wheelchair facilities. When completed, the capacity of the venue will be increased to 22,500.

Meanwhile Dungarvan’s Fraher Field, which is also owned by the County Board, is set to close for a brief period to facilitate the re-sodding of the goalmouths.

However it is expected to be available to host some of Waterford’s games in the National League campaigns.

In the past there has been criticism of the board’s decision to hold onto both county grounds, but a motion to convention a number of years ago to have Walsh Park sold off and a major programme of development undertaken was defeated.

Elsewhere, Wexford football star Darragh Breen is on the move to Cork.

But Model County supporters can breath a sigh of relief as he is only taking his club commitment to the Rebel County having just been granted a transfer to Cork county champions, Nemo Rangers.

The Gorey man, who had played his club football with Naomh Eanna, will continue to assist the Model County as they contemplate a breakthrough in Leinster football.

“I have now based in Cork and see this as the ideal move. Given the amount of travel involved it was not realistic to think I could give a 100% commitment to Naomh Eanna.

“I enjoyed my time with my home club but this is an opportunity to play football with one of the top club sides in the country.”

However the county hurling side must do without the services of promising young star Willie Doran for 2006.

Doran, an ever-present during last year’s Allianz NHL and an impact substitute in the championship, is unavailable due to work and study commitments.

The news is another blow to manager Seamus Murphy, as doubt still surround the future of Adrian Fenlon.

Meanwhile the Wexford backroom team has introduced some of last year’s All-Ireland winning intermediate squad to the panel.

Oulart-the-Ballagh duo Paul Roche and Stephen Doyle are included, while Stephen Nolan (Faythe Harriers) and PJ Nolan (Askamore) are also expected to figure in Sunday’s Walsh Cup SHC clash with Dublin.

Also back in favour is St Anne’s clubman Rory Stafford. Stafford was omitted from last year’s championship squad but has been recalled despite also giving a commitment to new football manager, Paul Bealin.

However, the backroom team are unsure about the availability of veteran midfielder, Fenlon. The 33-year-old Rapparrees man will make a decision on his future on returning from the All Stars trip to Singapore.

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