This weekend marks somewhat of a noted departure for GAA fans as the newly re-named Glennon Brothers Pearse Park hosts its first game as Longford take on Offaly in Division Three of the National Football League.
It is also the first time in almost two years that Glenn Ryan’s men will have plied their trade in the third tier of the GAA’s league competition, following on from the side’s promotion last year.
Giving his reaction earlier this week, county chairman Pat Cahill said work was likewise ongoing in terms of enhancing the ground’s health and safety record.
“We are doing work there at the minute by putting in extra turnstiles, exits, things like that. It’s all about ease of access and getting people in and out of the ground,” he said.
The Carrickedmond clubman expects the county board to shell out in the region of €100,000 over the course of the next six months.
He said the planned changes, while relatively minor, would strengthen the county board’s hand when it comes to attracting major GAA sporting occasions in the future.
“There are guidelines in place and we need to invest in these areas,” he added, claiming a deadline of May 20 had been put in place when Longford entertain Laois in the Leinster Championship curtain raiser.
Asked about what reaction, if any, had been received in connection with the county side’s new sponsorship agreement with local sawmill firm Glennon Brothers and subsequent re-branding of Pearse Park, Mr Cahill’s response was jovial, but at the same time typically assured.
“There’s a bit of a ring to it,” he giggled. “There hasn’t been any reaction to it really. I have had a few questions but that’s about it. To the locals, it (stadium) will always be looked upon as Pearse Park.”
If Mr Cahill was conscious to keep matters low key when addressing the county side’s commercial undertakings, the same however, could not be attributed to recent controversies surrounding payments to club and inter county managers.
“My own view is that managers shouldn’t be paid. The GAA can’t afford it and that’s it,” he said.
Mr Cahill maintained that while the dilemma was one which concerned almost all counties, club sides within Longford he confessed were not “too badly affected” by its demands.