Shamrock Rovers Football Club is delighted to launch an internal club initiative called The Boot Room today. This social initiative is aimed at educating young players in valuing and looking after their prized matchday equipment – their boots!

We are all aware of the inflationary cost of living in today’s Ireland, football boots can cost players and their parents hundreds of euro in any given season. We are acutely aware that the not all families can afford to have this as the top priority in their household budgets. To assist with this, the Boot Room is being launched with the central objective being to have a supply of football boots that can be made available to any of our Academy players that need them.

All of our younger players are made aware of the value of their boots, to mind and look after them over the course of a season. We already have a ‘Passback Programme’ in place where the men’s first team have passed on 30+ pairs of boots to the Academy for use in the Boot Room. This will become a widespread initiative across the various teams within the club.

The Boot Room unit itself has been built and sits next to the dressing rooms in the Academy facility at Roadstone.

At today’s announcement, we are delighted that Academy graduate and current Irish International goalkeeper, Gavin Bazunu, has donated €5,000 worth of boots to kick things off.

The initial idea came from Michelle McPhail who said that “as a parent involved in football, I understand the importance of players having what they need to enjoy their sport. Ideally, every child or young adult should have a decent pair of boots for their training and matches throughout the seasons. However, this can be a huge cost to parents when growing kids are going through boots very quickly.

With this in mind, I sought to create a service within our Club where we could have a well-stocked Boot Room that could provide football boots needed by any player or coaching volunteer.

A simple and known process that would see first team players right down to academy players, engage in a ‘Passback Programme’ where they donate clean, pre-owned wearable boots for other players to use.

This small ambition was thankfully met with much enthusiasm. Former academy player Gavin Bazunu has been so generous and supportive in helping bring this to life. With his help and that of many people involved in Shamrock Rovers F.C., Academy staff, First team players & staff, sponsors and volunteers, The Boot Room at SRFC Academy has now been created.”

On behalf of the Academy teams, SRFC Academy Director, Shane Robinson, said that “this club initiative is a great addition to the academy and will ease the burden on the parents of our players. We want all our players to value and take care of their equipment and be comfortable in the boots they wear at all times. Our players look up to our senior stars and it’s great they get an opportunity to wear their boots or the boots of their peers. Thanks to everyone who has helped get this initiative up and running.”

A number of people have been involved in getting this initiative to this point including staff and volunteers from various parts of the club, SRFC is extremely grateful for their continued efforts.

The Boot Room will be an on-going programme managed by staff and volunteers at the academy liaising with players and parents. The Boot Room is open to donations of pre-loved boots in good condition and/or donations to buy more boots from the broader Rovers fanbase, membership and club partners. For more information contact [email protected]