Shamrock Rovers formally opened their new grass pitches at Roadstone on Monday afternoon, completing phase one of the development of their ambitious academy.
The planned facility will cater for up to 500 children and young people training at elite, grassroots and football for all level on a weekly basis.
Attending the launch were representatives from government, the FAI, Roadstone Sport & Social Group, South Dublin County Council, DDSL, SRFC partner clubs, volunteers, staff and board members of Shamrock Rovers.
Rovers have been working in partnership with Roadstone Group Sports Club for the past three years and have a formal licence agreement in place for the use of the facilities and locating of the Shamrock Rovers Academy at the venue.
The academy has been established with the aim of creating “environment that promotes excellence, nurtures talent & produces professional players capable of playing for the SRFC first team and beyond”.
It caters for players from Under-8 up to Under-19 and follows the principles of the FAI’s Player Pathway and adheres to best practices in relation to coaching of underage players – providing age appropriate contact hours of top quality coaching.
The club is also using the development to further embed themselves in the Tallaght and Dublin 24 community by working with clubs and schools throughout the area to get young people more active.
The facility plays a major part in the clubs’ commitment to education hosting the STAR programme. Entitled STAR (Sporting Talent & Academic Rewards), and organised in conjunction with TAP, Trinity Sport and Shamrock Rovers, it aims to keep talented young footballers in education for longer.
Shamrock Rovers Chairman Jonathan Roche said of the link: “Shamrock Rovers are delighted and honoured to partner with Trinity College.
“We recently opened a new training facility for our young players and we are striving to raise the bar in Irish football by developing our own talent on the pitch.
“A huge part of this is working with the kids off the pitch also. It is vitally important for us that kids are educated both on and off the pitch. This programme will show kids the importance of education and that football and education can go hand in hand.”
Phase two of the plans has received planning permission and will see the development of dressing rooms, a gym, a lounge and education room.