Ballyclare Comrades have revealed plans to create a 3G pitch at Dixon Park and to be a Premiership team by 2019.
The pitch proposal and the vision to return the club to the top-flight are part of a five-year project to celebrate the Reds’ centenary.
The club’s recently-appointed commercial manager, Andy McDowell, said: “The main focus of the centenary project will be to make Dixon Park a community facility and to have the team in the premier league.
“We intend to install a 3G pitch and then make it available for rental to other organisations. That would generate much-needed finance as we aim to have a team worthy of promotion to the top level.
“The Comrades are Newtownabbey’s senior side and it would be fitting for the new Antrim - Newtownabbey combined borough to be represented at the highest level in Northern Ireland football.”
As regards club fund-raising, McDowell said a new Comrades lottery scheme will be launched in August.
“The first draw will be made at the home game against Knockbreda on September 6,” he confirmed, “so we are seeking out agents who will canvass the local area.
“We will also be approaching local businesses with the hope of increasing our sponsorship income, but the bottom line is we want to fill some of those empty seats at Dixon Park on match days.
“The call is: ‘Make the Comrades your team and turn out and support it’.”
During the next five years there will be much activity inside and outside Dixon Park, and club chairman, Trevor McCann, appeals to supporters and those with only a passing interest in the Comrades, to support the initiatives introduced from time to time by the new commercial manager.