“Lourdes Celtic Drive Pays Off”

Jul 01, 10 “Lourdes Celtic Drive Pays Off”

The Lourdes Celtic name is known in every corner

THEY have long been one of Dublin’s most distinguished clubs. And Ireland has also embraced them. The Lourdes Celtic name is known is every corner. And respected too. Sundrive Park is considered the home of good football. Some wonderful footballers have graced it’s turf. The venue’s biggest day is fast approaching.

New Dressing-rooms

Early in the New Year, it will be enhanced by a state-of-the-art structure. “It will be a big boost to the club,” confirms Celtic’s General Secretary, Shay L’Estrange. “It will be fantastic. “It will mean comfort and safety. Basic things like toilets for the kids. It will make all the difference.” The building will be spacious. It will have ten dressing-rooms. It will cater for all the community.Lourdes and the cycling folk will be the main users. There will be other smaller groups. “We are so much looking forward to it. We are in the process of setting up a management structure,” explains Shay. “It’s going to be brilliant for us.

Over 500 Players and that spirit is as much evident today as ever it was

We have 500 players now. You are talking about teams training twice a week in the park and then match-days. “So we’ll certainly get the benefit of it, and it will be a marvellous addition to the park.” Many good people have built Lourdes down through the decades. And that spirit is as much evident today as ever it was. Lourdes put in many hours to make the building become a reality. They scaled every fence. That has always been their way. It will be situated just inside the Clogher Road entrance. It’s a very attractive design.

It will match the football that continues to be played on the famous Hill, the popular name for the Celtic venue.

One of the best decisions the club ever made was to resurface their pitches. Now they possess one of the best surfaces in the county. Ball to feet is never a problem. You could play the Wimbledon Singles final there.

Many famous names wore the jersey

They include Niall Quinn, Damien Duff and Andy Reid. Lourdes had a cluster of players that helped Shamrock Rovers win the League of Ireland title this season.

And over the years, several of their personnel have been signed by clubs in England. “We are strictly a schoolboy club,” adds Shay. “Any money we get goes directly back into the kids.

“We are not involved in senior football at all. As a strictly schoolboy club we are probably the biggest around.” The river of talent is sure to continue, as Shay outlines. “We are very strong in the small-sided game. We have put a lot of effort into that.

Lourdes Academy

“Then we have our Academy for four, five and six-year-olds. That is flying.“The young players have good futures in the game. There’s plenty of talent and promise there.”

Football for All

Lourdes also stretch themselves to make surethat everybody in the locality is looked after. They have a ‘Football For All’ scheme which includes those with special needs.Then they go into the local schools providing free coaching to the junior and senior infants. “The schools are thrilled with that. It means the children are getting PE. Due to the lack of resources, PE is not as readily available as it was before. “We like to see ourselves as a community club. We don’t just cater for the elite. “We have as many as four teams in the age groups.

Our view is that any child who wants to play football is welcome here. “The Girls soccer has also taken off in a big way. We hope to field two teams next season in the Dublin Women’s Soccer League.”

Lourdes are on the way

In the past, Lourdes have collected a shop full of domestic and national honours. And they are on the right road again. “Our small-sided teams are doing exceptionally well and they are competing at the top level. “We are getting bigger all the time. The results are coming in. We are on the way up. And the new facility will see the club become even stronger.”

If you wish to contact Lourdes Celtic go to there website, you can also find them on Facebook.


Our thanks to Irish Journalist Niall Dully, who writes for the Evening Herald

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