TRAMORE AFC'S dedication to community development over their 59-year history was a crucial instrument in them taking the Aviva/FAI Club of the Year on Friday night, an award presented in conjunction with the Irish Daily Star newspaper.
The costal club based in Waterford fought off stiff opposition from seven other monthly winners to land the accolade at the FAI's pre-AGM banquet in Ennis on Friday night.
It was a proud evening for the strong delegation of Tramore in attendance at the West County Hotel, especially the two longest serving members John Power (Chairman) and David Farrell (groundsman).
The judging panel consisted of Irish Daily Star's Ger Keville, Paul Martyn of the FAI, former FAI President and now
honorary life member David Blood along with Aviva representative Mark Russell.
Club activist Paul Power enthused about the honour bestowed on his outfit.
"The award was a fitting tribute to all the volunteers that have contributed to the club's success. We are a community-based club in
the truest form because we cater for kids as young as 3 up to adults.
"Although we have produced 25 players that have gone on to win international caps, including Derrick Williams who is at the Under-19
European Championships in Romania this week, coaching and developing our young players is more important than acquiring silverware."
St. Mirren midfielder Jim Goodwin is their sole senior cap but Lynne-Marie Grant, has been capped in the Women's section while both
Jessica Gleeson and Ciara Grant were part of Noel King's Girls squad which reached the Under-17 World Cup quarter-finals last year.
From the humble beginnings of two teams, the club's portfolio has rocketed to 22 sides - including two successful senior ladies ‚Äė teams.
Central to that success is their magnificent Graun Park facility backboned by two floodlit playing pitches. This was deemed of
sufficient quality to provide the training base for the Ireland
Under-23 last year before the game against England.
With plans afoot for a 200-seater stand to be installed over the next 18 months, there is much to be excited about. Power, he a former Waterford United manager himself, knows all about the benefits of coaching kids.
UEFA qualified coaches Tommy Griffin, Johnny Brown and Declan Howlett are all integral to that function as player development remains the hallmark within the club.
So much so that the Noel Hayes Fair Play Memorial tournament, named in honour of the now deceased club stalwart, has earned recognition from UEFA.
The event sees 300 Under-19 children participate within a fun environment, at the end of which each receives a medal.
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