Ballisodare friendly Sunday
Sligo Rovers will play Ballisodare United in a pre-season friendly this Sunday at 2pm in Abbey Drive Park.
The game is to celebrate the club's 40th anniversary year.
It will be the third pre-season friendly for Rovers with Shelbourne already beaten in the first and a game away to Waterford United this Friday.
Sligo Rovers chairman Joe Burns said: "On behalf of Sligo Rovers FC I want to congratulate Ballisodare United on their 40th anniversary in football. During the club's 40 years it has developed a strong and proud tradition with it's community based approach to soccer.
"Recently The Bit'ORed has had the honour of having Ross Taheny, a former BUTD player, called up to the Irish U-19 team. The fostering of such talent will no doubt continue with all of the hard and voluntary work being done by its club members.
"To the officials, members and supporters of the club, all of us at Rovers wish you the best for the next 40 years and are looking forward to our visit to Abbey Drive next Sunday."
Information on the game from Ballisodare
It will be a great honour for Ballisodare to play against a massive club like Sligo Rovers and to do in our home pitch of Abbey Drive will be a momentous occasion. There’s much excitement around the new era in The Showgrounds, I’m sure everyone is intent on seeing Rovers back challenging for the title and Cup and we’re privileged to be part of the pre-season schedule for Rovers
The three Ballisodare United lads in the Rovers U19 set up are doing us proud. We aim to continue providing players to Sligo Rovers and this is achievable in the immediate future as our U15s, U16s, and U17s are top of their respective league tables.
- Stewarding and Garda will monitor the traffic control. Car parking in or around the ground.
- Free match programme on arrival for everyone.
- Entire pitch is cordoned off – all spectators should get a great vantage point
(Collecting at the gate, €5 or any donations would be appreciated)
Free in, free sweets and free Face Painting. There will be a Family Section which will be close to the Rovers dugout – for autographs etc.
- Tea, cakes, sandwiches for adults.
Salley Gardens and O Connors are match sponsors
- After match reception in the Salley Gardens –Rovers players and management, club officials, fans and public invited back.
- Game replayed in O’Connors Bar at 9pm on Sunday evening.
Information on Ballisodare United in general:
Ballisodare United was founded in 1975.
The three founding members are T.J McManamon (R.I.P), Gerry O’Connell and Jim Browne.
The club’s first competitive game was played against Attymas, Co. Mayo, in Summerhill College and was lost 2-1.
Ballisodare United moved into its footballing home of Sports Field, Abbey Drive in 1982 and have played there since. This community owned park has undergone redevelopment and now houses a pitch and a playground. Due to the rapidly increasing number of underage teams and matches in recent years Ballisodare now also play in Union Quarry, Station/Union Road. Both locations have dressing rooms, meeting rooms and parking facilities.
Michael Phelan spearheaded a ‘Mini Soccer Tournament’ to cater for kids aged 6-12 which at the time was the only competition of its kind in Sligo to give both boys and girls the opportunity to play football. Over 50 participated in its first year; it expanded and lasted 10 years. The ‘Mini Soccer’ overlapped with long time Secretary Paul Cunningham’s hard work in youth development as he and Jim Browne worked on developing the clubs Youth Academy for 6 to 10 year olds. Paul currently oversees three teams between U8s and U10s as they play Futsal on Tuesdays and Thursdays and runs a coaching camp every Saturday with the aid of qualified coaches including senior team captain Darragh Healy.
In 2014/15 they are catering for more teams and age groups than ever - U8s (x2), U10S, U11s, U12s, U13s, U14s, U15s, U16s, U17s and U18s. (11 teams)
Currently Sligo Rovers Under 19’s have three Ballisodare United graduates in their set up. These are Ross Taheny, Mark Hannon and Gary Anderson.
The Ballisodare United senior team is the pinnacle of the club and receive huge support from the community and fans as they play on a Sunday morning. The first and only Super League triumph for Ballisodare United came in 1991/92.
FAI Junior Cup. Last season (2013/14) under the guidance of managers Noel Meenaghan and Nigel O’Connell their senior team finished 4th in the Super League and beat Strand Celtic 4-0 to win the Radisson Blu Cup. Nigel is now paired with ‘Bomber’ Savage to manage the senior team for the 2014/15 season.
- Committee of 18 strong
- 16 coaches in the club.
- The club fundraise through a joint Lotto with Ballisodare GAA Club
- Run an annual Family Fun Day which includes a ‘Duck Race’ and 5KM Fun Run every August Bank Holiday Weekend.
- Chairman is Jim Browne, Secretary is Stephen Healy and Treasurer is Gavin Phelan.
Information on 40th Year Celebrations:
The fixture kicks off their 40th Year Anniversary celebrations which will occur right throughout 2015.
The celebrations will peak in May they we hold a Mini Soccer Tournament, a novel match (charity or likewise), some events in the locality, a blessing at the pitch and the main event is a Dinner Dance on Sunday 31st May in the Sligo Park hotel.