David McLoone, Donegal Development Officer
The youthful Aodh Ruadh clubman David McLoone had already received well-deserved kudos for his part in securing a substantial grant for the Training Centre in Convoy, before the County Development Officer presented a very detailed programme for the completion of the project to delegates at the Donegal GAA Convention on Friday night.
The report had the following timetable for the provision of a Training Centre building
* Tenders returned-December 2017
* Recommended Tenderer-February 2018
* Confirm financing-March 2018
* County Approval (Governance)-April 2018.
* Award Contact- April 2018
* Commence construction-May 2018
* Completion-February 2019
This is a very clear road map for the county so it looks like there is some real momentum with Convoy as his fellow Aodh Ruadh club man Mick McGrath is about to take over the chair.
David adds: “The priority of the role (Development Officer) continues to be progression of the building at the Training Centre in Convoy.
“The project will require substantial investment by Donegal County Board during 2018 and 2019 on top of the investment to date, which has included during 2017 the design fees and cost of additional drainage works.
“There is E575,000 of grants remaining for the overall project.
“Details of fundraising initiatives and the proposed financing of the balance will be outlined to the clubs shortly.
“This phase is the “big push” to get a fully functioning quality Training Centre for us by all county teams and to relieve the demands that clubs have on their facilities.
“But I have very much enjoyed the engagement with clubs, carrying out development works and with those focused on the off field activities including club planning, participating in club officer training and pitch maintenance”.
Elsewhere David reports that significant development works are still needed in Sean MacCumhaill Park Ballybofey.
“Most notably, the construction of up to three new toilet blocks, a further shop, plus egress improvements from the east stand.
“Draft plans have been prepared for these works which have been discussed with the club.
“The timing of submission of planning applications will be based on when the works need to be delivered and when the budget is available.
“Some minor yet significant works were carried out in the stand prior to the 2017 NFL.
“Hoarding was erected along the main gangway at the back of the stand to deter congregation of people, which had been impeding safe access.
The VIP area of the stand was repositioned to make it easier to control, as well as the designation of 30 substitute and backroom team seating beside each dugout”.
But overall it looks like the previously designated Convoy Centre of Excellence is starting to look just that!