CARRIGALINE United chairman Willie Walsh has praised everyone associated with the club after they won the FAI Club of the Year Award 2017.
Carrigaline fought off stiff competition from seven other clubs around Ireland â and were named the winners during the FAI Festival of Football in Kilkenny.
Club chairman Walsh said: âIt's a great acknowledgement and recognition for the effort that people have put in over the years, the coaches that get up early every morning and the amount of time that they give selflessly.Â
âTo go to the Festival of Football and to be acknowledged as Club of the Year for 2017 is a huge honour, we had no expectation that we were going to win and I feel so humbled by it.Â
âI'm also very proud of everyone who has worked towards this and we're very grateful to everyone who has supported the club over the years.'
The clubs motto is âPeil do gach uile dhuine' (Football For All), it is a community-led club, dependant on the contribution of volunteers with a strong focus on inclusion and accessibility, so as to serve local communities in the vicinity and beyond Carrigaline itself.Â
Over the years the club has initiated a number of programmes to welcome and facilitate more members and promote the positive aspects of participating in regular sport.Â
The club has a senior ladies, senior men's and two junior men's teams, most players have progressed from the underage structures.Â
The club academy caters for 450 girls and boys U6-U10, with one of the fastest growing girls academys in the region; and in the underage category they have seven schoolgirls teams, 30 schoolboys teams and six youths teams.Â
Other initiatives include:âWalking Football' for older adults and holding open evenings and information nights for members of migrant and new communities who wish to learn more about volunteering and participating in soccer.
Moving forward, Carrigaline United are working towards their Golden Goal Development Plan 2015-2022, an ambitious plan with five core areas: developing state of the art facilities, advancing coach education, excelling in player development, growing the Carrigaline United identity, and maximizing potential.
âWe're very proud of how Carrigaline United AFC has evolved over the years,' Walsh said.Â
âCommunity drives and sustains us and it is important that we continue to meet the needs of the community and form part of the framework of the locality, providing a valuable resource.
âWe have a very busy few years ahead of us, as we work towards our goals. These will culminate on our 50th anniversary in 2022 and we're very much looking forward to celebrating that milestone.'