Donegal Centre of Excellence may be about to re-open after repair work to the training pitches

Donegal Centre of Excellence may be about to re-open after repair work to the training pitches
Donegal manager Rory Gallagher’s headache of finding training facilities for the county senior footballers may be about to come to an end.

Donegal manager Rory Gallagher’s headache of finding training facilities for the county senior footballers may be about to come to an end.

This follows confirmation last night that the county’s training pitches at Convoy may be about to re-open after repair work to the playing surfaces on both training pitches.

“I am due to assess the situation tomorrow,” county development officer Terence McShea, told the Democrat last night (Wednesday).

“Both pitches were verti-drained the week before last and they have dried up well. The weather has picked up this week and is pretty favourable so and I am hopeful that the will be able to re-open them again and possibly as early as next week.

“But I won’t know for definite until I inspect them tomorrow,” insisted the development officer, who is only new to the position having taken over Michael McMenamin, at last December’s Donegal Convention.

The two training pitches at the multi-million euro training centre were closed after Christmas after it was discovered they had cut up badly.

A combination of over use and the very wet spell of weather in the weeks leading up to Christmas were being blamed for the closure.

The closing of the facility could not have come at a worse time for county senior manager, Rory Gallagher and the senior squad, who officially returned to training in the last week 2014.

The closure created a headache of trying to find training facilities for Gallagher in recent weeks.

“It’s just hasn’t been ideal but most counties probably have the same problem. It’s just the way the weather has been but in fairness we haven’t missed a night. There might be a bit of late notice here and there, but by and large everything has worked out fine,” said Gallagher when asked whether or not the closure had affected the squad’s preparations for the start of the season, after last Sunday’s Dr McKenna Cup game with Fermanagh in Ballyshannon.

During the closure Downings, Dunfanaghy, Castlefin and Munday’s Field in Ballyshannon, have been used by Gallagher and the senior squad since the closure.

The closure also had implications for the Donegal U-21s who have been forced to train at O’Donnell Park. The U-21s also trained in Ballyshannon on Sunday.

News of the re-opening of the Convoy facility will also come as a welcome relief for the Donegal Second Level schools who have used the facility on a regular basis for schools’ games.

Meanwhile, the development officer has also confirmed that he has carried out soil tests on both pitches at the Convoy facility.

This, he insisted, is to determine what is an appropriate programme of maintenance for the year ahead.