Soccer action to make comeback

Soccer action to make comeback

31 March 2021

LOCAL soccer clubs are in preparation after the resumption of training was given the green light.

The Stormont Executive announced a planned return to training from April 12.

Celtic Bhoys FC, Downpatrick and Killough FC are among the local clubs which have welcomed the news with open arms following a frustrating last few months.

Celtic Bhoys FC have been working hard behind the scenes to prepare for training to take place at their newly built Ballyhornan facility. 

Club chairman Patrick Moore said: “We are really excited to be able to start afresh this season and make the most of our new state of the art 4G pitch and clubroom at Ballyhornan.

“We will aim to maximise this as a community hub for local people and families throughout the coming year and we firmly believe this will provide a platform for the club to grow and prosper in the post Covid-19 world.”

He continued: “There is no doubt that this has been an extremely difficult year for so many, particular those who have lost loved ones as a result of the pandemic.

“The club is excited to have the opportunity to once again provide sporting and social activities to young and old in the local community. That is something that will be particularly important to peoples’ health and wellbeing.”

Moore said Celtic Bhoys have big plans for their future and are hopeful that they can be in an even better position than they once were.

“We want our community to to come back even stronger than it was before the pandemic. Sport will play a vital role in this regard and with that in mind we plan to create as many teams as possible in all age sections from first kickers right up to over 40s.”

Killough FC are also looking ahead to resume training after a frustrating wait to play the Bobby Dalzell Cup final against Ballynahinch Olympic. 

Manager Conor Doyle spoke about the Executive’s announcement, stating: “To the club it’s massive. We were well prepared in the summer to get going in August and it was so start-stop.

“After being told we can train in bigger numbers and for us to get a few friendlies, then for us just to be stripped of it was very disheartening. Not only for the players, but for the management and the committee as they were working extremely hard to cover all of the guidelines so the boys could get a friendly and train.”

He added: “The most disheartening thing to happen in our football due to Covid-19 was being unable to play the cup final.

“Everyone has their own opinion on when or how it should have been played long ago, but I am sure the Newcastle League did everything the could to play it in the safest environment possible.”

He added: “A return to training means a massive lift to not only our club, but for the village as well. Everyone in the village supports the club massively, so for them being able to go to The Mill Field on a Saturday and watch the boys’ means a great deal.

“The local young talent in the village is amazing at the minute and our ultimate goal is to make Killough a force again.”

The news will no doubt be a much needed boost to all local soccer clubs, signifying a big step in the right direction.