Bray Wanderers FC has announced a new strategy to pursue a Wicklow-wide soccer initiative. This follows lengthy and protracted conversations with Bray Municipal Council, local stakeholders and fans and football organisations across the county, including a highly-publicised and well-attended public meeting held on Monday night last in Bray.
The WSS is devised and supported by Bray Wanderers FC, Wicklow & District Football League, Wicklow & District Schoolboys and Schoolgirls League and the Irish Soccer Referees Society, represented by Paul O’Brien, chairperson and Wicklow resident.
The WSS has been presented to the FAI with very positive results.
Denis O’Connor, chairman of Bray Wanderers FC, is spearheading the WSS: ‘Wicklow soccer is currently very poorly served in terms of facilities and structure. There are no natural Wicklow stadia and indeed many clubs, ourselves included, have to travel into neighbouring counties for access to training grounds and all weather facilities.
‘We want to set up a structure that caters for the needs of our footballing youth in terms of coaching, facilities and support. We have hundreds of young people playing football every week but no natural career paths, overcrowded and
often substandard playing fields and limited joined up thinking across the Wicklow community.’
Bray Wanderers FC has a major role to play in the development of the WSS for a number of key reasons.
- The Club is positioned in the top national league, the SSE Airtricity Premier League and has achieved mid placing following a very successful second half of the 2016 season.
- The Club has put together an impressive squad which aims to progress further up the League in 2017. The club’s success will filter down to local Wicklow soccer.
- Bray Wanderers has agreed to offer coaching and professional support to clubs in the county, including involving the top class players in local club and community initiatives.
- Head Coach Harry Kenny, has streamlined the Bray feeder squads so that talented youngsters can be fast tracked up to county level providing easier access for career minded players.
- Bray Wanderers FC has already forged powerful links with local charities and community association to make football more relevant to a wider audience than merely sporting links.
‘We are now asking all of the Wicklow Community to support the WSS as we commence a new journey both on and off the field,’ say O’Connor.
‘And we wish Harry all the best as he starts on a new full season – we are fully behind him and the team and we hope to see the county come aboard and get the support going. Here is to a successful and new future.’