Chairman targets community boost

Loughgall chairman John McCann (front left) is hoping grant funding can help improve the Lakeview Park facilities.
Loughgall chairman John McCann (front left) is hoping grant funding can help improve the Lakeview Park facilities.

Loughgall chairman John McCann is hoping ambitious redevelopment plans can help strengthen the club’s community links.

Proposals to secure a slice of any future grant aid assigned to Irish League clubs include the installation of a 3G pitch alongside enhanced floodlights, toilet facilities and seating.

Key to the project’s long-term success sits a desire to continue to place Lakeview Park at the heart of the area.

“We are working with a consultancy firm and have submitted proposals to upgrade the ground in a number of ways,” said McCann. “However, at this stage it is about making sure we have everything in order if funding becomes available as a timeline remains uncertain.

“Plans remain valid for a five-year period and we feel it is important to sit in a state of readiness should any funding ever come into play.

“The idea behind turning our existing gravel pitch into a 3G site would allow us to keep our Loughgall Youth teams under the one roof but also open the club doors to any number of schools, church groups and sports clubs.

“We have letters of endorsement and support from a wide range of groups and see our plans as an opportunity to build on the traditional links between club and community already in place.

“Aside from the 3G pitch we would look towards increasing the main seating capacity from 174 to 250 in accordance with Championship License requirements and have various other plans as part of what must be described at this point really as a shopping list.

“We just want to be prepared in the event of any developments.”

Wesley Boyle has returned to the club and proved impressive in the Irish Cup defeat.

Boyle and Warner Mullen combined for captain Steven Ferguson to break the deadlock against Institute.

It was 1-1 at the interval before four second-half goals by the top-flight hosts.

Symon Ferguson - another former player back on the Lakeview Park books - could line out this weekend between the senior posts following a red card for goalkeeper Gareth Buchanan in the Irish Cup.

Other additions include Matthew Reynolds, Aaron Patterson, Mark Winter and Glenn Clarke.

Kick-off tomorrow (Saturday) against Ards at Lakeview Park will be 2 o’clock.