FIFTY-THREE years after its foundation, Shannon Town United officially opened its new clubhouse last weekend.
“It’ll cost over €300,000 by the time the furniture and fittings and so on are done, well in excess of €300,000,” said the club’s chairman Ger Kelly.
The clubhouse has four changing rooms, a referee’s room, kitchen, two reception rooms upstairs, a public toilet and an office.
“We first put in the planning permission about four years ago, but when that planning application went in it was only for two dressing rooms.
“Then with the growth of the schoolboy teams and girls teams we knew we needed bigger facilities, so we went from two to four. We also decided to convert the upstairs into a function room and a meeting room,” says Ger.
The clubhouse means a major improvement to the facilities.
“We’ve had a prefab, we have a steel shed down at our other pitch at Corrib Drive, but for over 50 years we’ve been striving for this. The modern day footballer wants proper facilities especially with the numbers that we have.”
He praised club officer Louise McNamara for being a major driving force behind the project.
“Past committees tried at times to get it up and running, but trying to build a clubhouse and finance the club is very demanding. But the committee have worked hard on this, one lady Louise
McNamara has done Trojan work. Without her input we wouldn’t be where we are today, she’s done a major, major chunk of the work and she takes huge credit for this facility.”
The club received a Sports Capital Grant of €50,000, while it has a monthly club lotto, and there is now a buy-a-brick scheme.
“There’s a corporate brick that’ll be put on the outside wall, with the logo of the company. Families can buy one as well, put up 30 characters and that’s €100. It’s a granite brick, with your name cemented onto the wall, it’s an actual brick compared to the old system where your name was just put on a plaque, you’ll actually physically see this brick.”
At the moment the club’s numbers are growing, particularly with more and more girls playing.
“In general the club is going well, the numbers are high. In the last couple of years there’s been a big increase in underage girls, from 8-12 years of age the number of girls in the club has probably doubled if not trebled. We have three junior teams, an under 19 team, two Youths teams, other underage teams, so our numbers are quite high.”