Nenagh's Cllr Seamus Morris has appealed for Tipperary's FAI development officer's job to be saved
Cllr Seamus Morris has written to Minister for Sport Shane Ross appealing for him to to protect grassroots football and the progress of the League Of Ireland following last week’s revelations about the finances of the FAI.
As part of his appeal, Cllr Morris highlighted the work being carried out by FAI development officer James Scott in Tipperary. Mr Scott’s wages are part-funded by Tipperary County Council.
He said that Mr Scott’s work in 2019 showed how all-inclusive it was with activities for refugees, Traveller communities, people with disabilities, over 35s football fitness programmes, and the Emerging Talent programmes which offer a pathway from aspiring young footballers to international players.
Seven boys and four girls from North Tipp had earned international caps with Glasgow Celtic’s Barry Coffey fast approaching one of the most capped underage players in the country, he pointed out.
Cllr Morris said that the ETB programme in North Tipperary had brought the North Tipperary and Schoolboys League from last place in terms of level to one of the teams constantly competing at the top level in schoolboys tournaments.
There had been FAI cup wins for Nenagh AFC at U18, U17 level and FAI club of the year was Ballymackey FC, ladies soccer had exploded in North Tipp with Nenagh AFC capturing an Intermediate FAI Cup, he said.
But, the Nenagh councillor, who has been invloved with local soccer for many years, said that most important was the coach education programme with coach education workshops constantly across most clubs in North Tipperary producing highly trained coaches for almost every club in the county.
"The groundwork has been significant and the amount of work is extraordinary, proving huge value for money for the State," he said. “I appeal to you, not to throw the baby out with the bathwater in the fallout of the FAI debacle."