STRABANE Athletic’s ambitions to play Irish League level football have been given a major boost.
The club has secured land to build an outdoor pitch as well as Ireland’s first full size indoor 3G pitch.
Moneymore-based firm, Manor Architects, have been appointed to oversee the project which is expected to cost millions of pounds to develop.
Club officials say they hope to see work begin within 12 months and if all goes according to plan, the plans will provide Strabane with the facilities it needs to compete at the top level or Irish soccer.
Athletic’s Seamus McElroy said that if he had a crystal ball, he could see Strabane playing at Championship or even Irish League level football by 2022.
“In five years time, from a football point of view, I can see us playing at the next level. We are an intermediate club but in five years time I would like to think we will be knocking on the door of the Irish League.”
Strabane has produced some fine footballers over the years, from the young guns of today like Rory Patterson and Warner Mullan right back to the likes of Gregory Kearney, Bomber Rouse and Bobby Snodgrass.
Seamus McElroy said the town was well known for turning out top talent and that it was high time players stopped having to sign for clubs outside Strabane in a bid to advance their careers.
“The talent is there but unfortunately over the last number of years that talent has had to move away because Strabane has not kept up with everyone else in terms of playing at a higher level.”
FULL STORY IN TOMORROW’S STRABANE CHRONICLE