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Brendan Coughlan, AUL Honorary Treasurer, accepts an appreciation recognition award on behalf of the league from Donal Halpin of the CP Football Development Academy at Saturday’s awards ceremony which also included a Club Mark award for the CP Football Development Academy Club.

THE EXCELLENCE of the Athletic Union League Complex was further enhanced this afternoon with the hosting of the Cerebral Palsy Ireland Development Academy Awards.

The event was attended by FAI President Gerry McAnaney and FAI Grassroots Director, Ger McDermott.

The AUL Complex and the AUL have become huge partners of the Football For All platform and the development of the CP Football Development Academy and its incredible growth in many ways has coincided with their relocation from DCU to Clonshaugh.

The CP Football Development Academy ensures that opportunities are provided to players through the network of football for all clubs and through the CP Football Development Academy which is the only CP specific football club in Ireland.

The Academy caters for boys and girls from the age of 7 upwards who want to have the opportunity to play recreational football as well as senior players who wish to access a talent pathway to potentially compete at international level.

At present, the CP Football Development Academy has structured programmes from foundation to senior development level. Training takes place every Saturday (September – June) between 12 noon and 2pm in the AUL Complex in Clonshaugh.

The Academy also provides a pathway for players into senior elite football with opportunities for them to complete at international level. The senior team competes in European and World competitions annually. In 2018, the Irish CP team won bronze at the European Champions in Holland.

On Saturday, the input of the Athletic Union League to the continued development of the CP Academy was recognised with a presentation from Donal Halpin to the league which was accepted by AUL Honorary Treasurer Brendan Coughlan.

Coghlan thanked the CP Development Academy and wished them well for all the sporting challenges that they continue to engage in and ensured them that the league was delighted to have the academy utilise Clonshaugh as a permanent base for all their training and activities.

The AUL Complex is now home to over 50 teams and is used by many of the nation underage teams as well as SSE Airtricity club Shelbourne.

Also availing of the 12 grass pitches, main pitch, all-weather facility, gym and a catering wing capable of hosting 150 people at a sitting, the AUL is currently thriving as it emerges from the Covid lockdown era.

“Over 50 teams call the AUL Complex home,” said league honorary treasurer Brendan Coughlan. “The Complex is thriving but we also have capacity to host more football platforms and anyone can contact the office to discuss their requirements.”

Added Coughlan: “There are exciting plans in the pipeline and we were recently awarded a sports Capital Grant of €186,000 and with some of our own resources we look forward to come exciting developments in the near future.”

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