It has been a hectic week for everyone at Evergreen.
With the shock news this week that Taxback.com owner Terry Clune will be supporting the club financially as they move forward with plans to open a second Astro pitch at Evergreen Park, one of the biggest clubs in Kilkenny continues to make impressive strives forward during a difficult time for all clubs around Ireland.
Evergreen chairman James Walsh told KCLR’s Scoreline just how important their first Astro pitch was for everyone associated with the club and that they expect to reap similar rewards as soon as the second pitch opens.
“The Astro pitch makes a big difference because we have been able to play games since it opened in 2015 where other clubs may have had to cancel their games around the county and the country due to waterlogged pitches or bad weather so it’s crucial for us,” said Walsh.
He also explained the additional benefits of having a second pitch that is of the same standard as the previous Astro.
“This sponsorship by Terry Clune allows us to play matches midweek, rent the pitch out and gives us more space for our current players so when we get back, we’ll be able to hit the ground running.”
The Evergreen chairman revealed that the pitch will be available for use from October and that it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Clune.
“Terry just told us that he wants to get it done and to get it done this year.
“We would be hoping that the pitch can open in October and just a month ago this wasn’t possible at all because we were talking about a small 6-a-side Astro pitch at best.
“It’s just incredible what is happening, and we are really grateful to Terry for giving us this backing.”
The club were recently awarded the FAI Club Mark for their work off the field. Walsh highlighted the importance of the Club Mark in attracting young players to the club.
He said: “I think the FAI Club Mark will prove to parents that Evergreen is the best place to bring their children to if they want to get them involved in sport and in football because they will know that we have everything in order for the kids.”
Walsh is hopeful that the new Astro pitch will lead to a higher quality of player in the Kilkenny and south east area.
“I think that the new Astro will deliver players to League of Ireland clubs and maybe at international level because it is there to improve players and that has to be the objective for a club like Evergreen.”
Listen back to the full interview below: