A local football club are celebrating this week after winning a top soccer award from the Irish Football Association.
Craigavon City, founded in 2007, picked up the NI Community Club of the Year Award at a recent presentation ceremony in Belfast.
John Cochrane Senior, who is one of the men who helped form the club eight years ago, is thrilled at the club being recognised with this top accolade.
“It’s a great honour for a club like ours to pick up this award and we are all delighted,” said John.
“It is testimony to all the hard work put in by the coaches over the years.
“We have over 200 young boys and girls coming along to the training sessions each week,” added John.
“A huge step forward came for us with the new 3G pitch at Drumgor Primary School. It has been such a huge boost, not just for us, but for the whole community.”
John, now 71, is just as enthusiastic as the young eight year olds who brave the cold winter nights at their training.
John played professional football in England, making his debut as a 17-year-old for Brighton & Hove Albion against Newcastle United in the First Division - today’s equivalent of the Premier League.
After two years he came back home and played in the Irish League for Distillery, Ards, Bangor and Cliftonville.
Locally, John was involved with AFC Craigavon, before helping get Craigavon City off the ground.
“We have 15 teams now and they are doing well. The girls are also top of their league. However, our focus is not all about winning. It is all about taking part and giving those boys and girls who want to play football a chance to do so.
“We have a hard working committee along with our level 1 and 2 coaches and this ward is all down to their fantastic efforts.”
The club trains each week at Drumgor Primary School, the juniors from 6.00pm to 8.00pm on Monday and Wednesday with the seniors on Tuesday and Thursday nights and any new boys are girls will be made most welcome. Well done to everyone at Craigavon City, an honour to be proud of.