The theatre of dreams to anyone who grew up playing there (but you had to hit it at a perfect time of the year). Too soft in the winter. Unplayable. Too hard in the height of summer. Catch it in perfect conditions though and there weren’t too many places around the county that would match it. The old Kilcloon football pitch. 1982-2014
Steeped in history it is. It produced some of the best Gaelic footballers in county Meath over the last thirty years. From Mark Crampton to Mark Ferris. From Sean Kelly to Sean Whelan. From George Beirne to Hatchet Nolan. From Stephen Nally to Paddy Snee and so on. Seriously that list could go on for ever. Kilcoon pitch has seen them all grow from raw seven year olds turning up to training for the first time to 37 year olds kicking frees against the likes of Slane for the last time.
Liam Reilly famously said in an interview after Blackhall Gaels Intermediate success in 1998 that himself and Eugene Ferris had a vision for this field back in the 80s; “Eugene came up from Kerry and said to me, Liam instead of having sheep grazing out on that field we should have kids running around playing football. Lets replace those sheep with kids”. The rest is history….
Kilcloon GAA (Kelly/Fitzgerald Park) in March 2014 before the re-development started.
After the grass was sprayed in June, the first signs of action came when the goals and nets were dismantled and the bulldozers moved in during July.
In a matter of days all signs of the old pitch were gone as the developers worked around the clock to move several feet of soggy soil to the end of the pitch.
Luckily the weather picked up the next day as you’d hope for at the end of July and as the ground dried out, the work pressed on…..
I may have put away the camera for a couple of months but the workers certainly didn’t down their tools and come September following an excellent spell of weather, the first blades of grass began to peep their head out through the sand-based surface…….
Work extended to more than just the pitch when a walking track was installed around its perimeter for the community.
Please do not walk on pitch:
Two months have passed since them last photos were taken. I will add another very soon. But believe me ‘The Bull McCabe’ would like to get his hands on that field now!! Even in mid November and with the weather having taken a turn for the worst, the new pitch is blooming, it’s lush green grass mad for action…….. God knows today 13/11/14 will surely have put the new surface to the test……