Bohemians to invest €1.5m in new training facility in partnership with DCU
Club say money from Matt Doherty’s transfer from Wolves to Spurs helped move the deal forward
Bohemians manager Keith Long with DCU sport chief executive Ken Robinson at the signing of an 18-year lease at the Dublin City University training facilities in Glasnevin. Photograph: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Bohemians are to invest around €1.5 million in a long-term partnership with DCU that will involve a significant development of training facilities on the college’s grounds on the Ballymun Road adjacent to the area of the facility currently used by Dublin GAA.
Having already fitted out dressingrooms with funding received from the club’s supporters, Bohemians will build its own offices and meeting rooms at the location and have made a joint application with the college for public funding for another all-weather football pitch on the site.
The deal is to run for 18 years, during which time the club says that it hopes to develop the League of Ireland’s best training facility.
DCU Sport’s chief executive, Ken Robinson, said that he believes the facilities involved are already at English Championship club standard but that together the club and college can build on that.
“We have excellent pitches, an excellent gym and meeting rooms, and I think the fit now with Bohemian FC is ideal,” said Robinson. “They’re a neighbour and they’ve got really fantastic philosophies, great values. There is the excitement in moving forward that we can further develop the facilities and have even better facilities in the future.”
For the club, Daniel Lambert said that the money received as its share of the transfer paid by Tottenham to Wolves for Matt Doherty had enabled Bohemians to push ahead with a project like this probably two or three years earlier that would otherwise have been feasible.
He said that both sides would work together on providing community access to the facilities. The club’s women’s teams will not be a part of the move but Lambert said that it would look over the coming months at what improvements can be put in place for them.
First-team manager Keith Long, meanwhile, said that while the team’s previous base at TUD Blanchardstown had been good and everyone there supportive, “DCU gives us greater scope to grow an academy structure, if you will. It brings us into a high-performance environment.
“What it gives us from a performance perspective is that it allows our 19s to train with the first team and allows our 17s to potentially train side by side with the 19s and the first team.
“The people out there [in Blanchardstown] were brilliant, to us while we were there but the opportunity for growth just wasn’t in TUD. It is at DCU, and you know, our shared values and the vision and philosophies and the ethos of both institutions was instrumental in this move happening and this partnership being agreed.”