Drumaness unveil plan to transform ground

Drumaness unveil plan to transform ground

18 November 2020

DRUMANESS Mills have released plans to upgrade their Meadowvale ground.

There ambitious scheme includes a new clubhouse, floodlights and grandstand.

The Amateur League club is hoping the work will allow it to improve what has already traditionally been one of the best grounds in junior football.

The plans, which have been lodged with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, outline ambitions for a new 3G pitch, a new clubhouse, changing rooms, floodlights and fencing around the pitch, as well as a new 206-seat grandstand, turnstile and toilet blocks.

Drumaness manager Mark Kerr said the plans, which are still in the planning and pricing stages, have been discussed within the club for some time.

“We have looked at developing something like this due largely, to the lack of facilities for children,” he said. “We need to develop our youth teams at the club. Our floodlit area is currently a grass pitch, which obviously isn’t ideal in winter. 

“There will be benefits to the senior side down the line in terms of producing players for the first team. However, mainly this is for the good of the kids at the club and what is able to then come through the production line.”

As well as benefiting young players coming through the club’s ranks, Mark said the news is positive for the wider community.

The facilities will be made available for other sporting clubs in the area, even though the project is being funded by Drumaness Mills FC.

“We have been working with a consultancy firm and we have said to them that it is something that we, as a club, need to own,” said Mark.

“Our aim is to be spade-ready whenever the funds are. We don’t know exactly when that will be, but it could be just after Christmas if things work out well. 

“From a club’s viewpoint, we’ll be ready to go. It is a three-month project to carry out the work. The pitch is already in great condition as things stand, so we have that good starting point.”

Kerr also added that whilst work is ongoing, it will not disrupt the club’s ability to continue to stage matches at the ground.

With local clubs having had great difficulties in sport over recent months due to the uncertainty created by the spread of covid-19, Mark is glad to see some positivity on the horizon for the Mills.

“It has been really tricky,” he admitted. “We have now though set off on a clear path for the club.

“We want to be able to have a vibrant, youthful set-up, when of course it is safe for football to resume. 

“Everyone at the club is eager to get back playing again. But we also realise it has to be when the time is right to do so, from a public health perspective.”

Whenever things are back on track, with concerns over public health and the ability to stage grassroots sport still very much to the fore, it is clear Drumaness have steps in place to ensure they will be able to provide a superb back to where they play their football.