Martin O’Neill recently launched Salthill Devon Supporters Club & Drom Rejuvenation project in front of a large gathering of the faithful in the Salthill Hotel.
To many outside Galway, they will know Drom as the home to the Galway Cup – a tournament that has grown in stature and quality over the past dozen years or so.
Salthill Devon, as a club, has never let the grass grow under their feet. For many years they had no home base, but there was a passion to establish something. This writer has been involved since the late sixties – so disclaimer here, if I sometimes get over enthusiastic!
Salthill Devon, back in the day, set out get a home and evolved from training and playing in Salthill Park, vis Miller’s Lane to a state of the art facility in Drom, with four grass pitches, eight ‘astro cages’ and a mini all-weather pitch.
15 years on and Drom, like any facility, it needs to be upgraded. From a footballing perspective – and that is what has always driven Salthill Devon’s modus operandi – a full-size latest-generation all-weather pitch is a requirement.
In their relatively short history, Salthill Devon have been a major influence on football in the Galway and the west of Ireland. The club have provided over 60 players who have worn the green jersey of Ireland, from Daryl Horgan at senior level down to schoolboys & girls
League of Ireland
Salthill's elevation to league status came through the now defunct A Championship. Vinny Faherty had skippered the club to victory in the League of Ireland at under-21 level and, almost on auto pilot, Galway ended up with three teams in the First Division of the league.
From a footballing perspective, this was, of course, madness. But given that football is a meritocracy and at that time Salthill Devon were developing some exceptional young talent, the club felt it was owed to those players to play at the highest level they could.
Roll the clock forward and Salthill Devon instrumental, with the FAI and Mervue United, in getting the ‘new’ Galway United back on track.
Two weeks ago, sitting in the press box at Deacy Park, covering Galway United for extratime.ie I counted up eleven ‘old boys’ involved in LOI action. There is a healthy sprinkling in the Galway WFC ranks also.
So, Salthill Devon’s position as a top class development club is well-established, making the rejuvenation of the Drom facility more important than ever. Tweets each weekend from @petekelly54 will keep you posted on SDFC alumni in action!
On the night in the Salthill hotel, Chairman, Robert Meehan reminded everybody that he started at seven years of age with the club.
“We are here to launch the Drom Supporters Club and the Drom Rejuvenation Project,” he said.
“It’s this all about replacing and reconfiguring for future needs and creating a full size all weather pitch. This will be a costly exercise”.
The club are reaching out to their diaspora to contribute – no stone will be left unturned - and when the horde assembles for the Galway Cup in August the new facility should be finished.