New club ‘could produce soccer stars of the future’

The FAI and Fingal County Council looking for volunteers to reform Tyrrelstown FC

Laura Lynott

A north Dublin community is capable of producing soccer stars of the future, if the right structures are put in place, according to one local activist.

As underage clubs get ready to return to training next week, the FAI and Fingal County Council want to reform Tyrrelstown FC, and are looking for volunteers to help organise, assist and coach players.

“This area has produced Premier League players and it is well capable of producing more great soccer players,” community activist Jonny Ahearne said. “Tyrrelstown GAA has been coming along for the last three years and the soccer club has been trying to start up again.

“We have 7,500 kids living in Tyrrelstown and the GAA does the best it can, but this is the most multi-cultural area in Ireland, so a soccer club would cater for a lot of our kids.”

Tyrrelstown, like many areas across Dublin, has been suffering an increase in anti-social behaviour during lockdown. Johnny believes the club would give children a new interest to steer them away from trouble.

Jamie Wilson, Fingal FAI development officer, said Tyrrelstown FC is “a club that's very much needed in the community”.

"Football has been sorely missed for the past 12 months and it's been missing in Tyrrelstown for much longer, especially for the younger players.

"The area itself has now got a full size all-weather pitch and a fantastic community centre, which would serve the community and Tyrrelstown FC. A team of volunteers is required to run a club, and it will provide a positive outlet for members of the community through participation, either as a player or volunteer.

"We’re looking for committed individuals, who are willing to get involved regardless of their previous football experience. There is more to a football club than coaching kids. We also need a variety of other skills that aren’t football based, so there really are opportunities for everyone,” he added.

Mayor of Fingal, councillor David Healy, said: “Sports clubs of all types are a fantastic way of bringing communities together, improving health and physical fitness, and making areas vibrant and connected. Reforming Tyrrelstown FC is a hugely positive goal and I look forward to its success.”

The local GAA club grew 50pc last year and now has 250 members. Jonny Ahearne, who’s also chair of that club, said GAA is “helping to push kids in the right direction”, and he feels soccer would do the same.

“In the lockdown, kids have been bored and there’s been an increase in anti-social behaviour, but if the kids are given something else to do, of course they’ll do it. We have some fabulous footballers and they’re capable of reaching the very top. This club could help them do that and it would also be great for the community.”

Local Fine Gael councillor Puname Rane said: “It’s great news, as the focus has moved in these areas which have seen a lack of infrastructure. This is a great opportunity and couldn’t have come at a better time.”

If Tyrrelstown FC is something you feel you could contribute to, fill out the expression of interest form here and Jamie Wilson will be in contact over the coming weeks.