Windmill Stars new kids on the blockThe 2012/13 season has been whirlwind year for Windmill Stars. The Club has seen its youth membership swell during this period, the number of qualified coaches has increased and the Club is very close to finalising the lease on its own pitch at Nan Sans Park and the first team moving into the Mid Ulster Intermediate League for next season.

The Club now has over 250 registered youth team players aged between 5 and 16 representing the Church Street Club across 18 teams in various footballing formats including the Newry Games Development Centre, Carnbane League, Mid Ulster League and the Lisburn League. With 35 qualified youth and senior team coaches the club continues to go from strength to strength.

On Sunday the 16th June the Club brought together a selection of its players from the U5’s through to the first team to an open day to celebrate receiving the Mc Donalds Club accreditation award.

Youth Chairman Damien Hillen said “Four years ago we sat down and put a club development strategy together. There were 3 strands to the plan, establishing a youth academy and promoting a culture of best practice in coaching, getting our own ground to give us a base to continue to grow and most importantly moving the senior team into the mid ulster intermediate league to give the players the platform to play and provide a clear footballing pathway for our players coming through”.

In 2013 everything started falling into place for the club the number of kids, coaches and the bulging trophy cabinets speaks for themselves. A pitch lease should be completed by the end of the summer and the club will receive official confirmation in the coming weeks on where the first team will be playing its football next season.

“The Mc Donalds award is something that we are incredibly proud of”. It recognises best practice across all areas of the club yet we are focused on more than playing and training. We bring players together in what we believe are fun and inspiring ways. This culminated in the Club attaining another milestone in May this year with the under 10 team competing in a tournament in Ayr winning all 6 of their games, this was the first time Windmill Stars had been represented outside the island of Ireland. On the 7th June the club had a very successful trip when it took 209 players, parents and coaches to the Ireland world cup qualifier with the Faroe Islands. Today is another one of those events.

“The Club would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has helped get us to where we are today. The past 12 months have been a tremendous success but this is very much the just a starting point, as our goals are achieved they are continually revised and replaced with more stretching targets. Today is about showcasing and celebrating where we are and using this platform to build for many years of success for football in Newry and the surrounding area”.