Chairman discusses Sean Fallon Centre opening
Sligo Rovers chairman Dermot Kelly has said Sunday’s friendly with Accrington Stanley is a day for all supporters of the club to acknowledge the “demonstrable” improvements to the The Showgrounds over the last number of years.
The game will be preceded by the official opening of the Sean Fallon Centre at 4pm. Tickets are priced from €10 for adults and €5 for children along with family tickets and the ticket sales will help further developments in the ground.
The centre is a new state of the art all-weather facility along with a grass pitch as part of investment in the ground in the last number of years that totals almost €1million.
The chairman said: “The purpose of this friendly is to open our centre of excellence and celebrate a historic day for Sligo Rovers to have such facilities in The Showgrounds.
“The money raised on the day will go into the centre of excellence, ring-fenced to help it function as the very best centre of excellence in the very best ground in the country - a ground that we own.
“It's fantastic to hear the FAI are giving a grant to Dalymount Park - that is absolutely wonderful. We had to raise it all ourselves. We had to get up off our butts and we have done it.
“I think it's brilliant that Accrington are coming over to play the game. The support that the Credit Union, Stiefel, Volkswagen and Connolly's gave to the club is also something we want to celebrate. I think it's fantastic we will have members from Sean Fallon's family, directors from Glasgow Celtic and politicians from all divides celebrating the centre of excellence.
“Minster of Sport Michael Ring will help open the centre – the funding provided through the Sports Capital Grant made the project possible.
“The friendly is also about saying to the club's committee - we're going to put a few bob in and say "go and continue to develop the ground that you hold in trust for the people of Sligo".
He told Ocean FM of some plans for the future if the success of the club continues and said if the town and county back the club they can be possible.
"We don't want to stop now. We'd like to develop some toilets under the Volkswagen Bank End and make the facilities the better for the supporters when they come out. We'd look at putting in dressing-rooms at that end to cater to the training pitches that will accommodate schoolboy games and junior games and under-17 games.
“The Volkswagen Bank was built with the point of putting a roof in on top of it at some point. We would like to see that happening. But again it depends on the pitch and financially that gives us the resources to do that.
“It has been brilliant that we have cleared a lot of historic and legacy debt and used the success to build a very solid platform that will allow our incoming manager to work with our underage coaches and the fantastic work by the Sligo-Leitrim youth league and Kennedy Cup teams to start bringing through crops of young players. We haven't wasted our success.
“There is a tangible, demonstrable improvement in the infrastructure. We'd like to develop at the near end as well - but that when it comes about is going to be a bigger project and one that we might have to put off to make sure we do it right when we get around to it.”
The Sean Fallon Centre opens at 4pm on Sunday – Sligo Rovers v Accrington Stanley is 5pm in The Showgrounds. Tickets available at turnstiles.