A PARTNERSHIP between Gort na Móna GAC and Holy Trinity Primary School will see a new floodlit 4G pitch build that will serve the needs of both club and community. Work on the facility that will take 24 weeks to complete and costing close to £400,000 began on Monday with the use of the new pitch that will be located at the top end of the school yard and will service the needs of both parties.

With Gort na Móna’s playing numbers increasing due to the rising popularity of ladies football and juvenile intake, the club found itself shelling out for use of training and playing facilities, so felt there was a need to develop a new pitch that could be used all year round.

“We found ourselves every year going out and spending more with outside services like leisure centres, St Dominic’s and places for the use of facilities,” explained club chairman, Seamus Corr.

“It was about trying to identify space close to us. We approached the school with a proposal to adopt the top yard that would be turned into something state of the art. “That would upgrade the school’s services, but would also give us space.

“They agreed to it and we then went through the process of securing the funding which we did. “We are now at the stage where the first sod was turned on Monday. We have secured all of the funding required so we’re good to go.”

The funds for the project came from a number of parties including the Department of Communities, Belfast City Council, the Alpha Fund while the club raised a sizable amount also to ensure work could begin as soon as possible.

The hope is that the new facility will help out Holy Trinity in the long run, but will also encourage youngsters to become members of Gort na Móna with the links between the club and the school now even closer.

“The most important thing here is the partnership with the school,” stressed Seamus. “They have the use of it during the day and we have access at nights, weekends and holidays. “The pitch in the school yard is set to be transformed, so hopefully this will help encourage kids to the club from the school also.”