After many years of hard work and fundraising at Quigley’s Point Swifts, the club’s new clubhouse is to be officially opened next weekend by FAI Chief Executive John Delaney.
Everyone involved in the club’s 41 year history is invited come along to the special open day on Sunday, July 15 which promises to be packed with fun for all the family.
At the the official opening Mr. Delaney will be joined by FAI President Paddy McCaul and Iskaheen parish priest Fr John Farren along with a host of other local dignitaries.
Club Chairman Damian McColgan said it will be a “very proud day” for everyone involved in QPS, officials and players past and present.
“The official opening of our new state of the art clubhouse at the School Field will mark the culmination of many years of hard work by everyone involved in the club with the generous support of the local community. Quigley’s Point Swifts has been at the heart of the community for more than 40 years now and the expansion of our youth policy has ensured that children in the area can enjoy playing football in a fun environment from early age. The new clubhouse and facilities at the club now reflect the rapid growth of the club youth coaching and underage structures.”
During the open day all of the club’s youth teams will be showcased at the club grounds in a series on fun football games. A host of other activities are being organised by the club and light refreshments will be provided. The event is due to kick off at 5.30pm.
Mr McColgan said: “We have a great day lined up and would like to invite everyone associated with the club over the years to come along and join in the celebrations.”
For the last 23 years Quigley’s Point have been building their youth system and, as explained by committee member and former striking stalwart in the senior team, Vincy McColgan, the legacy of that system has been at the very heart of the senior team’s success over the years.
“Now we cater for so many people but then we only had the one youth team going, the under 12s, and we built upon that each year since.
“Today we cater for children from as young as U-6 right up to U-18 as well as having two ladies teams and two senior teams. At the minute we’re catering for 100s of people at the club.
Developing young footballers in the Muff area was a job first of all undertaken by Vincy. Lawrence McColgan and Pat McGonagle also soon became involved and, as more and more kids began turning up for training, local interest in the club soared.
Through years of youth coaching the club has produced players who have gone on to represent Ireland at schoolboy level, and play senior football in the league of Ireland and Irish League.
Come a long way
In recent years a host of club members and many former as well as current players have earned their coaching badges and are ‘giving something back’ by devoting spare time to mentoring the underage children’s teams.
“The club has certainly come a long way from the old days when we started out. The new facilities at the School Pitch are second to none in the Inishowen League and beyond and we’re very proud to have achieved that.”
The brainchild of the late Donal Murray, Quigley’s Point Swifts FC was co-founded in 1970 by himself and former St Columb’s College teacher, the late Brian McLaughlin.
In 1973 the club moved to its present home while QPS has use of a training pitch just off Muff Main Street fondly known locally as ‘The Duck Pond’.
Following several years of success in the Ulster Senior League, Inishowen League success has proved difficult for the club’s senior team in recent years although the Senior Reserves won a league title in 2011 and were finalists in the Top Four Cup.
But lack of success in the senior team wasn’t always the case.
“We won the Inishowen League seven times in a row, an achievement which has never been equalled in any junior league I know of,” said Vincy of the earlier years in the club’s history.
The Muff club left its ranks in 1987 but only to win trophies elsewhere.
“We spent four years in the Derry and District League and in those years we climbed from the fourth division to win the first division.
“We also beat Foyle Harps in the Bishop’s Cup while playing in Derry,” said Vincy.
A lot has changed
A major problem for QPS over the years has been the fact that it didn’t own it’s own ground as the School Field was owned by Iskaheen Parish.
But in recent years all that has changed and the development led by the club’s committee with the support of the National Lottery, the local community, the parish and the FAI has borne great fruit for budding footballers in the area.
The development of the club in recent years is testament to the long standing and suffering committee members, who have brought this project from paper to reality, the help of the local community in the clubs various fundraising initiatives, and the desire of the whole club and community to provide better facilities for the youth of the area.