DDSL plan new facilities

Eamon Scott

THE DUBLIN BUS-sponsored Dublin District Schoolboy League agreed last night to move forward on a development project with the Football Association of Ireland which will see the provision of state-of-the-art playing facilities at the national sports campus in Abbotstown.

The decision of the board of the schoolboy league was unanimous to proceed with a joint venture with the FAI that would finally see the biggest league in the country, with 18,000 players, finally achieve a long-held ambition of having their own playing facilities.

"I'm delighted that the board was unanimous in its decision to pursue what is an ambitious project, but one that will help fulfill the needs of this league in preparing our league's sides as well as providing playing facilities for the clubs of this league," said chairman Paddy Dempsey.

"We're grateful to all the stakeholders who have been supportive of this venture and I believe it's one of the most important decisions the league has made in its long and illustrious history," added Dempsey.

The first phase of the project would see the development of two all-weather pitches with dressing rooms and coach education conference facilities with grass pitches and additional facilities to be added in Phase 2.

Funding will be provided by the DDSL, FAI, UEFA and additional government grants.

Board member Derek Moore of Stella Maris said: "It's an ambitious project and I'm delighted that we are moving forward in partnership with the FAI. From a DDSL feasibility and funding perspective it's within our capabilities and, as a board, we're committed to carrying through and delivering the project to completion."