Holycross Soccer Club
BRIEF HISTORY: Formed 1992 in Holycross, Thurles, Co.Tipperary.and affiliated to the North Tipperary & District League. Has fielded one or two junior teams and as many juvenile teams as possible throughout its existence. Honours are thin on the ground but won a Tipperary Cup (open to all divisions) and a 2nd Division League title in the late nineties and a Third Divisional Cup some years earlier. Some successes have also been recorded at juvenile level.
STRUCTURES: The club is governed by an elected committee consisting of chairman, secretary, treasurer, public relations officer, child protection officer, and four other ordinary members, and is bound in its activities by a club constitution. The clubs most common challenge is to attract sufficient volunteers to adequately manage its teams, but never the less, in the season just finished, fielded two junior team, two juvenile teams at u/10, and one team at u/12, u/14, and u/16, as well as running a hugely enjoyable u/8 academy programme. Some 160 players of all ages were registered this year with active membership now almost 200.
FACILITIES: The club has played its fixtures for the past 14 years on rented lands off the Cashel Road just half a mile outside the village. The lands were made available from August/September to April annually having been used for grazing cattle during the summer months. Considerable preparatory work has been required each year to achieve acceptable playing surfaces on two pitches. Changing facilities were provided in two converted lorry containers and drinking water was available at an outside tap. The land owner has indicated that he will not be in a position to rent the land for the 08/09 season.
FINANCES: The club has existed on very modest reserves but in October 2008 embarked on an ambitious fundraising drive with a view to future development. A lottery licence was obtained and the weekly club lottery yields average net income of
€ 400/500. Other income streams are small but are sufficient to cover the annual running expenses of the club.
FUTURE PLANNING: Having some inkling that the current rental arrangement was precarious the club has been actively seeking an alternative home either on a rented basis or by way of land purchase. While no success has been recorded on the rental front the club have secured agreement with a local land owner to purchase land. Negotiations between reps of the club and the landowner have resulted in a proposal where the club can choose 6.5 acres of a large field (circa 30 acres) and rent up to a further 4 acres with an option to purchase this additional land at a later stage. The price agreed for the 6.5 acres is €140,000. The land is level, top quality agricultural land, with excellent drainage, situated in a sparsely populated area some 2 miles outside the village on the Cashel Road, and with good road frontage and access. Very little development work would be required to bring the site to playing stage.
It would appear that this proposal offers the club a very attractive future and while obvious challenges attach our view is that we should act to close this deal as soon as possible.
PLANNING PERMISSION GRANTED. In December 2009 South Tipperary County Council granted permission for development of the proposed site at Glenbane to provide playing facilities. Planning conditions require that improvement work be undertaken on the Cashel Road out of Holycross village and work has commenced in early 2010 with the club undertaking the removal of a dangerous bend on the road adjacent to the lands of Mr. Philip Brady. It is hoped that the grounds will be available in July 2010 for use in the forthcoming season. Plans to provide three playing pitches and a modest but desperately needed dressing room with electricity and running water as well as internal road and parking are at an advanced stage.
The club adopted its crest in 2008 to replace the old crest which was based on the Jerusalem Cross, a theme popularly adopted by other parochial organisations, although with no tangible link to the parish. The new crest depicts the geographical characteristics of the clubs catchment area. The rolling fertile valley of the golden vale, the river suir, and the hills and mountains which surround the area, are represented. The main feature is the traditional version of the true cross from which parish and club take their name.
CLUB DEVELOPMENT. As soccer is the most played and popular game in the world we see our mission as facilitating this demand in Holycross and its immediate hinterland. We are committed to improving our coaching standards in line with FAI policy. We have also embarked on a five year programme to provide adequate facilities for those who wish to play soccer in our locality. In line with global trends the most significant increase in player participation is in girls and ladies soccer. With improved facilities we hope to be able to meet local demand. The club is actively involved in plans to establish girls and ladies leagues in Tipperary.
CLUB WEBSITE. The club launches its website at http://www.holycrossfc.com in the very near future. The site will be full of current news items and will have a comprehensive history section and photographic gallery full of old and new items. The site is currently in construction by Paul Fennessy of Thurles Institute ofTechnology.