Work starts on the first phase of the FAI’S National Training Centre

FAI Academy Sod Turning at the National Sports Campus

The Football Association of Ireland has announced the start of work on the first phase of its National Training Centre at Abbotstown with a sod turning ceremony involving Minister Leo Varadkar TD, Minister Joan Burton TD, FAI CEO John Delaney, DDSL Chairman of the Board of Directors, Brendan Bermingham, DDSL Chairman, Paddy Dempsey, Sean Benton, Chairman of the NSCDA, and Republic of Ireland management team, Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane.
The FAI National Training Centre’s first phase will include five full sized grass pitches and one full size artificial turf pitch. The pitches for the FAI’s National Training Centre will use all of the latest technology to ensure player injuries are minimised.
The FAI’s National Training Centre will be used for elite player and referee training, including international squads and coach education. It is being developed with funding from the Government and FIFA and includes a partnership usage agreement with the DDSL.
Following the development of regional training centres and the completion of Aviva Stadium, the National Training Centre in Abbotstown fulfils another significant objective under the FAI’s current strategic plan. It is expected that the artificial pitch will be complete by September with the five grass pitches following on a phased basis through to the end of 2014.
Speaking at the sod turning, Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar said: “The Development Through Partnership programme between the Government and sports bodies was an important catalyst for this great project at the FAI National Training Centre and marks another milestone in the development of the National Sports Campus. I want to thank the FAI for taking the initiative and committing itself to the Campus. This new facility joins the National Aquatic Centre, FAI HQ, the Institute for Sport, Sport HQ, the national equestrian arena, the community commercial pitches, the GAA’s pitches, and the other campus facilities. With further developments in store, the National Sports Campus at Blanchardstown is a centre of excellence for Irish sport and a great national asset that we can all be proud of.”
Sean Benton, Chairman of the NSCDA welcomed the start of work, saying, “The FAI was the first National Governing Body on site here at the National Sports Campus and this next stage in their development is very welcome. I look forward to seeing coaches and players using the facilities in the coming months.”
John Delaney Chief Executive of the FAI said, “The National Training Centre fulfils a major strategic objective for the FAI in the development of the game nationally. I would like to thank the Minister and the Government for their contribution to the funding of this project which will provide a real boost for the next generation of Irish football talent.”
On behalf of the DDSL, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the DDSL, Brendan Bermingham said, “The DDSL has been based at Abbotstown since 2007 and today’s announcement represents the start of a new era for schoolboys’ football in the Capital.”
DDSL Chairman, Paddy Dempsey, added, “Our investment and licence agreement for use of the National Training Centre meets our future development requirements and gives the DDSL access to state of the art facilities for our development squads.”