DROGHEDA United intends to have further contacts with Everton FC after a three-day fact-finding mission to the Merseyside club.
General Manager Hubert Murphy and the club’s Business Diploma students, Luke Murphy and David Whearty, gained a full rundown on the many aspects of the Premiership club, with a key focus being their world-leading ‘Everton in the Community’ programme.
“What Everton have achieved through hard work and a devotion to the community is breathtaking. They are the heart and soul of their district and deliver life-changing programmes in an area blighted with crime and drugs. We learned that much of what they do can be tailored to meet the needs of people in the Drogheda region and it is something we’d like to introduce the Drogheda Implementation Board to. Drogheda has the chance to unite under one sports and economic umbrella to deliver real results for the people of this town,” the general manager stated.
Everton in the Community has committed to being available to give any advice and direction needed for the idea to work. “Their generosity in terms of their time was very much appreciated,” he added.
Areas such as mental health, education, working with people with dementia, a young father’s meet up group and a unique ‘People’s Pantry’ are just some of the elements that can be tackled.
“The business community works hand in hand with the club and they reap the rewards of that association.
“Where there are areas lacking in services, a foundation can step in, and where there are existing services, they could add to them.
“Maybe it’s time for the sporting clubs from the region to come together to share their great ideas and even add to them. Drogheda United has an opportunity to help with that under a ‘Drogheda Sports Foundation’ banner, similar to what is happening in the city of Bristol where a number of codes have come together for the betterment of the community.
“The biggest aspect of this is that people have a trust of the ‘club crest’ and be that a football club, a GAA team, rugby or basketball, people appreciate that clubs are vested in their community because that’s their heart and soul.”
The Drogheda United FC LMETB Business Diploma has been running for the past year and has opened a new pathway for the students involved when it comes to education and life.
“Maybe unlike some courses, this has gotten the students out of the classroom into the ‘university of life and experience’ and they’ve learned a lot under the guidance of a fantastic teaching team in Dani Maletic and Paul Smyth.
This is a ground breaking programme, supported by the FAI and is the way forward for clubs,” Hubert added. The course is a one year full-time Diploma/QQI4/VTCT2.