For those of you who know our Colga grounds in Kilcornan, you get an immediate sense of "today"...the games, the training, the pools of water covering the first half of the practice area, the horses, raising their heads wondering who you are, the matches and wondering which pitch is actually better, the little red wagon and trying to get James to give you a free cup of tea...our home...and you probably feel the endless future possibilities of this place. I know I am completely biased but I feel such a sense of pride every time I drive through our gates. Yes, we may not yet strike fear into the hearts of opponents who travel to meet us, the fixture list may state "away, Clarinbridge," but, what most of us coaches and players know is, it's not "away in Clarinbridge".....for us, it's "home in Kilcornan." One of things I am absolutely convinced of is that Kilcornan will become one of those places in football that teams just don't want to visit.
There are 2 main approaches to Kilcornan. One takes visiting city teams, primarily from the North and East of us, on a meandering journey towards Oranmore, out the old Galway road, past the water tower, and a right at Fury's cross. Our directions typically follow the road to Casey's Cross, pass Donoghue's buses "straight through, veer right at the T-junction, and then up the long hill." I would bet almost all the coaches then state with pride, "you will enter the woods, keep straight, next right, and after 500 yards, our home is on the right."
Teams from the South of Galway, and those that invariably ignore all of our directions and head for the village, take a right (or left) into the Brothers of Charity. From there, they bump over the speed ramps, take a lot of sharp right turns, and must indeed wonder, where in God's name are we going...
yet, they all arrive..they look out the window, in their heads they wonder, what is this place....a gate through the wood that unveils it's picture....trees, horses, whispering and howling trees, steel containers, a little red wagon, Colga's home...
I know I am one to paint a picture with words. My belief is that Colga's grounds are the heart of the club and a place where everyone belongs...we play, we coach, we laugh, we cry, we watch, we chat, we meet, and for us, as a club, it is our home and somewhere we should feel a tremendous amount of pride.
Tomorrow, Sunday, March 9th, 2014, we all have the chance to own a tiny piece of our home. You may read this many days or months from now, but, if you happen to read this today, or tomorrow, you have the chance to be part of what Kilcornan will become. For today and tomorrow, as a club, we will be planting 350 trees along down the side of our home. Come join us, buy a tree or dig a hole, you would be so very welcome from 2-4pm..
For those reading this later, who want to be part of what Kilcornan will become, you can also purchase a tree....www.colgafc.ie
It is easy to write about the importance of a home ground...you will always hear coaches and managers talk about what it means to be at home.
For a player, it has all to do with feeling what it means to be at home. Colga, Kilcornan, Home.