LESS than two weeks after playing in the FAI Junior Cup final at the Aviva Stadium, Ballynanty Rovers FC are seeking the assistance of Limerick Council to help them find a pitch to call their own.
‘Balla’ do not have their own playing field and their home fixtures are often held at a public pitch in Shelbourne Park, or at the venues of other Limerick junior soccer clubs.
Anne Marie Stacke, honourary treasurer of Ballynanty Rovers, said that the club’s efforts to get a pitch of its own have fallen on deaf ears, but it now hopes that the new Limerick Council can follow through on the mission.
She explained: “Over the last two years the committee has met with the Northside Regeneration and Limerick City and County Council’s property department to discuss the possibility of Ballynanty Rovers being awarded some land that they could lease and develop into a suitable soccer pitch.
“Unfortunately we are getting nowhere with either organisation because Ballynanty is outside the regeneration boundaries and Council won’t commit to any possible sites within the Northside.
“Now as Limerick begins a new era in the newly-formed Limerick Council, we would urge all our newly-elected North Ward City Councillors to review Ballynanty Rovers’ situation and help them achieve their goal in finding somewhere suitable to call their own, a home ground suitable for development.
“Cllr Maurice Quinlivan has already agreed to do everything he can for us, so I would hope that others will come on board with him and support Ballynanty Rovers objective.”
Ms Stacke added that, six years ago, the club had 17 registered schoolboy, youth and junior teams. It now has one youth team, two junior teams and no schoolboys, as it is having difficulty attracting players due to lack of facilities, managers and financial support such as grants.
Ballynanty Rovers have been granted the use of Fairview Rangers’ facilities for their FAI Senior Cup match against Phoenix FC this Sunday. The club is especially eager to obtain a pitch of its own due to FAI Junior Cup competition rules, which state that all venues for fixtures in the last 32 of the tournament must be played on an enclosed ground with dressing rooms and showers.