Broadford Rovers’ young stars are looking forward to a bright future They are pictured with Martin O’Neill earlier this year. Picture: Paul Lundy

These are exciting times at Broadford Rovers as the Ballinteer club makes massive strides both on and off the field.

Some of those strides were more literal than others, as a group of club members took part in the Wild Air Fun Run in Marlay Park in aid of the Jack and Jill Foundation.

The members’ sponsorship efforts ensured the club raised more than €2,000 for the charity developmentally-challenge children and will hand the cheque over at an event on September 24.

More generally, the club is witnessing a huge upsurge in participation numbers at underage level, the club having suffered with the loss of a number of teams during the boom years.

“What happened was, ironically, we lost a lot of teams because of the Celtic Tiger,” club secretary Paul Oates told the Dublin Gazette.

“People couldn’t afford to move into Ballinteer so we had no new families, but we’re starting to see that turn around now.

“There are an awful lot of young families which have moved into the area in the last few years, which is great.”

Enrolment is booming at schoolboy level and the club will this season run three underage girls’ sides at Under-9, Under-11 and Under-14 level.

That’s part of a club-wide initiative to provide football across genders, which also saw the reboot of their senior women’s side last year.

Their first year in the Dublin Women’s Soccer League finished with a semi-final appearance in the DWSL Junior Cup, where they were edged out by Mourne Celtic Drimnagh.

“We had a senior women’s side for the first time in a number of years last year. They got to a Cup semi-final. They’re in the Women’s Senior League.

“We are going to have three underage girls teams next year, at Under-9s, 11s and 14s. They’re all brand new and starting this month. That was an initiative at the club – we actively sought it.

“We didn’t have any girls or women’s teams and we wanted to. We went out and actively recruited for girls teams.”

The club are also preparing to send a three-man team to represent Ireland at the second Teqball World Cup in France in October.

A former manager at the club, Philly Fitzgerald, helps organise the new sport that is, in essence, a mixture of table tennis and football played on a specially-designed table.

Three members of the club’s Senior Sunday side – Brian Reilly, Conor Reilly and Alex Oates – will travel, with Brian taking part in the singles even while Conor and Alex form a doubles partnership.

The club will also support Football Against Racism Europe this year by again taking part in the Show Racism the Red Card initiative.