Derry & District F.A. outfit, Phoenix Athletic, have taken the first steps to establish a youth team to represent Derry’s Rosemount area in the years to come.
However, before youth players can be recruited into the proposed Phoenix Academy, the industrious local club has decided to put former and current players from the senior team through their respective coaching badges.
And in order to help finance that situation, Phoenix have called upon the Derry City Legends squad to play them in a special friendly fixture in the Brandywell Showgrounds tomorrow week, Saturday, February 16th at 2.30 p.m.
In addition, Derry & District F.A. Secretary, Mr. Willie Barrett, will host a special fun quiz in the Phoenix Bar at 9.00 p.m. on the night of the challenge match and it’s hoped to recruit at least 10 teams in the squad.
Phoenix manager, Christy McGeehan, is one of the driving forces behind the scene and he extended his thanks to the newly formed Brooke Park Forum which, he said, had been advising his club on fund-raising issues etc.
In fact, McGeehan has also sought help from other clubs who are involved in the Brooke Park Forum, such as junior side, Oxford United who have also been particularly helpful in assisting.
“We contacted Derry City Director, Martin Mullan, to get a match against the popular Derry Legends and, thanks to Martin, that has been organised for Saturday week in the Brandywell Showgrounds.
“Willie Barrett has kindly agreed to be quizmaster at the quiz in the Phoenix Bar that night so we’re delighted that local people from the Rosemount area have got behind the club and wish to see a youth team established in the area.
“Oxford United’s Paul Roddy and Conor Loughrey have been very helpful in giving us advice on getting the proper structures in place and we decided that it would be very important to have qualified coaches in place before attracting young players.
“We have identified former and current players who are prepared to give up their time and volunteer to take charge of the young team and the club will attempt to provide the finance to get the necessary coaching qualifications.
“Given that it will cost in the region of £300 per coach, we’re hopeful that our fund-raising ventures will be supported and any money raised will go towards covering those costs,” said the Phoenix boss.
“We’re aiming to secure the services of five voluntary youth coaches with Child Protection and basic First Aid certificates in place,” he added.
“The Brooke Park Forum have taken a great interest in our proposal, insisting that they would be very happy to see a youth football team based in the Rosemount area and, as I’ve said, other local young teams have also supported us in that regard.
“Local residents have also expressed an interest in our proposal so, fingers crossed, we will get off to a good start with the match against the Derry City Legends and, of course, the quiz in the Phoenix Bar on Saturday night week,” concluded McGeehan.