Centre of Excellence gets to ahead for new season

Published: 13 Jul 2012 13:000 comments

The Fermanagh Excellence Centre, based at the Bawnacre Centre, has got the go-ahead for another year, it was confirmed on Tuesday.

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There had been widespread fears that the county centre would be closed, and instead four Elite centres would replace these with local players having to travel to Cookstown to attend the Elite centre.

However, those fears have now been allayed, at least for another year, with the centre set to run for 12 weeks before Christmas and a further 12 weeks after Christmas.

"It is great news for the young lads of the county," said George Elliott, Fermanagh Performance Excellence coach. "There was a big fear that it was going to go into four centres, the same as the girls. And it could have gone the same way as the girls with no girls from the county attending Cookstown anymore and it would have been the same with the boys eventually. There is a lot a travel and a lot of time involved in getting to Cookstown."

Elliott feels that the Excellence Centre, which was visited by Gerry Armstrong back in February, has been a success and that has been shown by players then gaining selection for the elite squads.

"At every age group this year we have at least one lad selected for the elite squad so that shows it is working. It is a good programme," he commented.

And Elliott is looking forward to getting started again in September.

"We're not just too sure yet what numbers it will be. It was cut back to 20 last year from 24 but hopefully it will stay at 20 and not drop any further. I'm looking forward to it and for the boys that are picked it is a great boost to them. We will be starting on September 10 and will run for 12 weeks and then we're looking at starting in the first week of January for another 12 weeks. Hopefully we will maintain the same coaching structure that we have had," said Elliott.

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