As posted on the Cliftonville FC website

Cliftonville Football Club are delighted to announce the expansion of our chaplaincy team.

While the long-serving Reverend Dario Leal remains at the Reds as Senior Chaplain, David Burke has moved from his role with Cliftonville Olympic and Academy to become First Team Chaplain. New to Solitude and taking over from David as Academy Chaplain is Conor McDowall, who comes on board after receiving training from Sports Chaplaincy Ireland.

Chaplains are available to players, staff, supporters and indeed anyone connected with the Club who is in need of pastoral or spiritual care and support.

Sports chaplaincy is now well established across Irish football and has received the backing of many illustrious names, including Alex Ferguson, who said that “Chaplains can be of help to all sorts of people involved with sport, when crisis, need or difficulty comes”.

Closer to home, NI Football League Chief Executive Gerard Lawlor remarked that, during his tenure as Cliftonville Chairman, “the Club benefited enormously from having a chaplain and Dario has been of help not only to the players and staff but also the board.”

All Sports Direct Premiership Clubs have now appointed at least one chaplain with the support of Sports Chaplaincy Ireland, which is co-ordinated by ex-Irish League star Philip Mitchell.

The Club also hopes to appoint a chaplain to Cliftonville Ladies in the near future.

Everyone in the Reds family is more than welcome to contact any of our three chaplains confidentially at any time when in need of a listening ear, pastoral care or spiritual support.

Senior Chaplain: Rev. Dario Leal
First Team Chaplain: David Burke
Academy Chaplain: Conor McDowall