Dublin University Football Club will be opening their brand new College Park pitch this weekend when they take on Malone in the Ulster Bank League. A host of past players, internationals and alumni will be attending to see the teams run onto the field to signify the turning of a new page in the rich history of DUFC.
Dublin University FC have been unable to play there since June 2013 when the pitch was closed to allow much needed upgrading of the playing surface to take place.
Established in 1854, the club is the oldest in Ireland and the oldest continuous rugby football club in the world.
The new College Park surface is sand carpet natural grass and will provide a more robust and higher quality training and playing surface that will be utilised by the seven teams that the club fields.
The playing surface is not the final part of the redevelopment, with the installation of match quality floodlights being planned for January to allow a far greater flexibility for the scheduling of competitive and social fixtures.
The upgraded pitch is part of a new long-term strategic plan to re-establish Trinity Rugby as a consistent force in the sport in Ireland and to play a greater part to the overall contribution that Trinity Rugby offers prospective students.
As a leading University, the provision of high class sports facilities for Trinity teams and students is essential and a major part of the long-term strategy to attract both students and investment into the University.
The facilities are an important element in this strategy and further developments by the club in providing top class coaching, fitness, medical and other support services will form the backbone of this.
The new strategy for sport in Trinity provides the direction by which these objectives will be achieved in collaboration with the College authorities, Alumni and other stakeholders.
Dublin University Football Club Chairman John Boyd said: “The aspiration of Dublin University Football Club is to be a ‘club for life’ that attracts both new students, past players and Alumni to engage and stay involved in this great club.
“We are currently rolling out several aspects of the new strategic plan for the club and the opening of the new pitch is the starting point for this.
“This would not have been possible without the support of Michelle Tanner, Head of Sport and the entire Sports Team in Trinity, Ian Matthews, Chief Financial Officer and Chair of the Outdoor Sports Governance Group who oversaw the redevelopment as well as Director of Buildings Office and the Project Manager, Brendan Leahy.”
Current President of Dublin University Football Club, Alan Dargan, commented: “I wish the players and club members the best of luck for a successful season and even greater success into the future of this great club.”