Tallaght Stadium wins Airtricity League Pitch of the Year 2012
Published on Friday, 26 October 2012 16:01
Tallaght Stadium, home ground of Shamrock Rovers FC, has won the 2012 Airtricity League Pitch of the Year Award, following an inspection by the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI).
The winner of the award was announced after STRI, as the awarding body, visited the three shortlisted grounds, Tallaght Stadium, Waterford Regional Sports Centre,and Sligo Showgrounds, following nominations by Airtricity League referees and players, in association with the Professional Footballers Association of Ireland.
The award, which is organised by the FAI and STRI, will be presented at half-time during the FAI Ford Cup final at Aviva Stadium on November 4. Tallaght Stadium also won the Award in 2010.
Announcing the winner, STRI CEO, Gordon McKillop said: "STRI is delighted to sponsor the Airtricity League Pitch of the Year. These awards highlight the focus and dedication of groundsmen across Ireland and demonstrate the skill required to achieve high quality playing surfaces. We are very pleased to award the 2012 title to Tallaght Stadium, a worthy winner amongst some excellent competition, and we send our congratulations to the team on the high standards they have achieved in managing the pitch."
Fran Gavin, Director of the Airtricity League added: "I would like to congratulate Tallaght Stadium on winning this award for the second time and to congratulate Waterford
Regional Sports[r1] Centre and the Sligo Showgrounds on making the short-list. It was Waterford's first time to be in the last[r2] [r3] three and it is testimony to the tremendous work carried out by Waterford City Council on their pitch over the last few years that they have achieved so highly this year. The input of the players, through the PFAI, and the referees on the Airtricity League panel is appreciated."
Willie Sheils, Senior Executive Officer, Community Services Department, South Dublin Co Council, who own and operate Tallaght Stadium said: "South Dublin County Council is delighted that Tallaght Stadium has won the Pitch of the Year Award for the second time in four seasons. This is due not only to the great level of care and attention paid to the maintenance of the playing surface by Killian Byrne and his team but it also reflects the high standard that the Council has set in recognition of the need to provide a top-class pitch to showcase the increasingly high standard of football featured in the Airtricity League."
The competition began in 2007 following the takeover of the National League by the Football Association of Ireland. Initially it was known as the Groundsman of the Year Award but was renamed Pitch of the Year in 2009.
The previous winners are:
Groundsman of the Year
2007 – Noel Connolly, Terryland Park
2008 – Noel Connolly, Terryland Park
Pitch of the Year
2009 – The UCD Bowl
2010 – Tallaght Stadium
2011 – Turner's Cross