Cork City have had a very busy month to date in April. As well as putting together an unbeaten winning run of 10 League games (and counting!), the Leesiders welcomed Erasmus+ project partners Schalke 04, Malmö FF and a representative of CAP CDM earlier this month (between April 6th and 8th).
The visitors held a series of meetings at the club offices in Bishopstown Training Ground on the Thursday, including Operations Manager Éanna Buckley and Business Development Manager Lisa Fallon, and took time to explore a number of the city’s famous sites before heading over to University College Cork (UCC). The focus of discussions centred around day-to-day operations, membership and, particularly, the vital role and benefits volunteers can bring to their football club.
UCC is now Cork City FC’s main club partner. The club has a provision for education within its constitution, and former CCFC board member and UCC staff member Dr Seán Ó Conaill gave a brief tour of the campus before kicking off an open session held on the campus for the general public.
Speakers at UCC open session
The event included a number of presentations across a range of topics. SD Europe Acting CEO Niamh O’Mahony gave an overview of the Erasmus+ project to date before Cork City / FORAS board member Darren O’Keeffe gave a detailed presentation into the membership improvements developed by FORAS in recent years.
Maria Angeles Nuñez spoke about her football club, Club de Accionariado Popular Ciudad de Murcia (CAP CDM), which is another of the Erasmus+ project partners. Dr Ó Conaill spoke about Cork City’s new and improved player pathway before the visitors took to the stage.
First, Pontus Hansson spoke about Malmö FF’s impressive school programme, where they aim to give children a more complete academic and sporting education, while Florian Hartmann (Schalke 04) then spoke about the challenges and positives of his club’s 145,000-strong membership structure.
Thomas Kirschner (left) with John Kennedy & Mike Derham
The following day was equally busy. Lord Mayor of Cork, Councillor Des Cahill, welcomed the clubs to City Hall and invited Schalke 04, Malmö FF and the SD Europe team to sign the visitors’ book. The group then had a tour of the Mardyke Arena, the sports facility which Cork City players have full use of, and the Club Shop in Douglas before making their way to Turner’s Cross (CCFC’s home ground) – ahead of City’s league encounter against rivals Derry City.
Ahead of kick off, the visiting delegation met with Cork City’s SLOs, Dinny Deady and Alan Coughlan, as well as the club’s Event Controller, Robbie Kelleher, and a member of the local police force (An Garda Síochána), Sgt Alan Cronin, to discuss match night operations with SLOs Thomas Kirschner (Schalke 04) and Pierre Nordberg (Malmo FF) and the benefit the SLO role can bring to clubs.
The entire group enjoyed Cork City’s 3-0 win on the night before indulging on some further sightseeing on the Saturday, heading their own separate ways as the weekend drew to a close.
For more information about the Clubs and Supporters for Better Governance in Football project, visit the Our Project page and check out our News section. The exchange visits allow for the exchange of information and best practice and have proven to be extremely valuable for partners to date. They will continue throughout 2017.