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Partnership with Celtic to celebrate Shannon Town’s 40th

SHANNON Town United is celebrating its 40th anniversary and last weekend it announced a new partnership with Celtic. The club’s PRO Michael O’Kane said that there have been some informal links with the Glasgow giants over the last few years.
“Two years ago, Celtic held a summer camp here. We had another one last year and about six weeks ago, Celtic approached eight clubs in Ireland. There are two in Munster, the other in Waterford. We will be what’s called a community academy club, with their coaches coming over here training our kids and our coaches will go over there and get trained by their coaches. I would say that in the long run, one of their goals would be to get a player out of Ireland. They’re not expecting it straight away.”
He said that the club will be receiving a lot of support from Celtic.
“We’re having an Easter camp, a summer camp, a Hallowe’en camp and in February, 50 of us are going over there, 30 kids and 20 adults. We’re going to have a coaching session and watch a match. In August, 20 kids and two coaches are going over for a week-long academy. To us, it’s a big deal.”
Shannon Town United have about 250 young people registered to play with them and they also have two adult teams.
Shaun Gallagher is the football development officer with Celtic and he said that the club wants to maintain and strengthen its long-standing links with Ireland. He also said that the Shannon club has a lot going for it.
“It wasn’t easy to select teams but Shannon Town have been going for a while.They seem to have a lot of players and they’re going in the right direction.”
He said that Ireland is a good market to concentrate on. “The Irish market is something that’s been very much neglected in the past. The possibilities for clubs to grow and expand are very big. Participation levels in sport in Ireland are growing and there’s an opportunity for Celtic and other clubs to help football grow and grow in Ireland.”
There are plans to form a collective team from the eight Irish clubs involved. “Hopefully, there’s going to be an Irish Academy team from the eight teams in the partnership. If they provide two players each, there’d be an opportunity to play against teams in Glasgow in the Celtic community academy. It’s really about establishing strong links with Ireland, which is a big part of Celtic’s history. It’s a great opportunity for everybody involved.”

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