'It offers everything we need' - Martin O'Neill chooses Fota Island as pre-Euro 2016 base
Published 05/02/2016 | 11:50
The Fota Island resort in Cork will be used at the Republic of Ireland's pre-Euro 2016 base, the FAI have announced.
Ireland boss Martin O'Neill and assistant manager Roy Keane scouted a number of locations at home and abroad before settling on the Munster venue.
“I’ve been to a number of potential sites in Ireland and overseas, and we’ve decided on Fota Island because it offers everything we need right here on our doorstep,” said O’Neill.
“I visited Fota Island Resort recently, with Roy Keane, and I know that it has a good pedigree as a base for sporting teams and, in particular, football squads.
“The players will be in France for what will be a long enough period, so it’s good to keep them closer to home for the build-up to such a huge competition, and in a familiar environment.”
Management, playing squad and backroom staff will be based at Fota for a five-day build up from Monday, May 30 and running through to Friday, June 3.
Fota Island Resort has played host to a number of leading professional football clubs in the past, including senior and academy sides from Liverpool, Manchester United and West Ham United, as well as some of Ireland's underage international squads, and FAI Coach Education courses have also been held there. Watford, Leeds United, Birmingham City and Burnley have also used the resort’s training and recovery facilities, which include two full-sized training pitches.
The football playing surfaces are built to the highest specifications and incorporate top layer sand, seeded with a combination of rye and smooth stalk meadow grass, equipped with a fully automated underground irrigation system.
Also included on site for the Ireland squad is a sports gym, a team meeting room, a kit room, a physiotherapy facility plus swimming and hydrotherapy pools.