Lough Derg FC earn the FAI Club Mark
Founded in 2002, the club is based on the Clare side of the Shannon, close to the Tipperary border. The club serves the football needs of a growing community of Killaloe/Ballina and environs in North Tipperary and East Clare. The area is traditionally a GAA strong hold on both the Clare and Tipperary sides of the Shannon and they have grown their membership base with a harmonious relationships with our sporting neighbours. In 2015, they completed their pitch development at Clarisford Park, Killaloe, Co Clare.
This top class playing facility was developed under a community model in partnership with the local Rugby Club and Scouting Troop and the Clarisford Organization. Clarisford Park is also used by a host of other sports and recreation organisations including Derg Athletics Club, Boru Triathlon Club, Park Run, Clare Sports Partnership, Ballina Killaloe District Anglers and many more. Continued growth, to become the NTSFL’s largest club has brought new challenges and they aspire to adding additional playing pitches in the future.
Lough Derg are competitive across the age-groups and they have lifted their share of silverware over the years, but that’s not the only measure of success. They are especially proud of the role that is played in the community. The club caters for all player needs with over 25 squads from Under-6 teams upwards enjoying football. Throughout the school age levels Lough Derg have multiple squads at each age group, enabling players to play at a level that meets their needs. They have actively promoted and delivered a sustained rise in female participation rates and support the 20x20 Charter.
They play a community role and family events like Tribe Trials are highlights of the social calendar. The club reach out to community through programmes like Beat the Streets football programme. This year brought its challenges but they maintained club engagement throughout lockdown with Fitness for Football Strength and Conditioning programme, along with skills sessions going online. Every year, the club runs Summer and Easter Camps with huge uptake from our Lough Derg players and the wider community. In partnership with the local Community College, they host the school’s football games on Clarisford Park and they facilitate Transition Year students to gain coaching experience and commence their coaching development.
On the pitch they have seen a growing number of our players, male and female, represent the league at interleague level, regional Centres of Excellence and gaining international recognition, with many young players continuing on the pathway to League of Ireland clubs. The club is member-led and the club survey feeds into the DNA (Do Not Alter) Programme, to keep true to the vision of “Developing a Life Long Love of the Game”
There are over 500+ members, with 55 coaches at the club. The Academy caters for squads from Under-6 to Under-11, with multiple competitive squads per age group from Under-12 to Under-16 men's teams and an Under-18 female playing in the NTSFL. The Under-17, Under-19 and Junior squads play in the NT&DL. The club also has an Over-35s Masters team
As with any volunteer organization success is not possible without an army of hard working volunteers, committee, coaches, members and parents. Running a club comes at a cost and over the years Lough Derg FC have enjoyed generous community support through sponsorships from too many local businesses to mention. The club are are thankful to Clarisford Park and the sporting neighbours that share the facility. They wish to thank the Clare Sports Partnership for their support, along with the NTSFL and NT&DL and their Regional Development Officer James Scott for all his support. Within the club, they wish to thank to Donagh O’Shaughnessy for leading this Club Mark programme
Lough Derg FC is delighted to have achieved the FAI Club Mark certification. They are happy to offer support to any neighbouring club that might be starting the journey. The club has ambitious plans for the future that will require considerable development to support our growing base, and feel that having achieved certification of being a well-run club is an excellent starting point for building for the future.
FAI Interim Deputy CEO Niall Quinn, added his best wishes to the club on their Club Mark achievement.
"Big congratulations to Lough Derg FC on achieving Club Mark status today. Well done to Donagh, Elaine, Ray, Mike, Alan from the committee whom I met recently and a big shout out to all the coaches, volunteers and of course the players. I'm delighted for you all."
NTSFL Chairperson Terri Butler also added her congratulations to Lough Derg on achieving the FAI Club Mark Entry Level Award.
"On behalf of the North Tipperary Schoolchildrens League committee and all of our members, I would like to recognise Lough Derg FC’s outstanding achievement of becoming our first club to be awarded with the FAI Club Mark and for gaining the recognition they so deserve. We offer our huge congratulations to their committee, coaches, teams and players for their hard work and commitment shown in helping the club reach this level, and for all the efforts put in to achieve the FAI Club Mark.
"We hope it will help us now to see many more of our clubs follow suit and achieve the award, and is great to see them all so committed to reaching the high standard now set by Lough Derg FC. As a league we are delighted to see our clubs achieve success and are very proud of each and every one of them, but especially Lough Derg today for gaining their FAI Club Mark award."
The FAI Club Mark is an award for grassroots clubs based on best practice in the governance, management and administration of a football club.
Clubs start their journey at Entry Level and can progress onto the One Star Award. Each step challenges the club to implement policies and procedures in line with best practice.
The FAI Club Mark is free and optional for clubs and aims to:
• Improve the management of clubs ‘off the field’
• Establish and promote best practice
• Empower and support clubs
• Recognise and reward clubs for achieving high standards
• Increase a club’s capacity to operate effectively and grow football in communities throughout Ireland.
If your club is interested in learning more about the FAI Club Mark please complete this short Registration Form