Last week's decision by Dublin City Council chief executive Owen Keegan to recommend that Tolka Park not be rezoned for residential use was greeted with joy by Shelbourne fans who had campaigned to save it.

The club's long-standing home ground had been slated to be replaced by housing once a proposed relocation to join Bohemians as co-tenants at a rebuilt Dalymount Park was completed.

But Shelbourne withdrew from that 2016 plan in February and asked the DCC, the current owners of both stadiums, if they could purchase Tolka Park instead.

At the time, the council said it would examine the plans and was open to supporting it as long as there was "a cost recovery model for expenditure incurred by the City Council and a firm commitment from Shelbourne FC that Tolka Park can be redeveloped in a reasonable period and that adequate finance is in place".

The council now appears to be on board with a renovation of Tolka, and former Shels Ollie Cahill and Graham Gartland both believe the club need to make that happen rather than just being happy to be staying up.

"It's massive," Gartland, who finished his career with Shelbourne in 2013, told the RTÉ Soccer Podcast of the reprieve for the ground.

"You don’t want to lose your home. That’s where they’ve played the majority of games since their inception. Some great European evenings there I would have gone to watch.

"There are enough places to re-zone for houses without them taking someone’s home and where they want to play.

"It’s so important for the club now that they’re back in the Premier Division that they have somewhere to call their own.

"I do feel the ground needs developing. If they’re going to save it then make sure it’s done up properly and get the council involved with the upkeep of it as well if they can.

"It’s great news but make sure they turn it into a proper, functional stadium. Maybe if you put a timeframe on it, say 10 years."

"I think the people that are investing in Shelbourne probably have an idea that they're going to invest in the stadium as well as the playing staff. So they go in with the council and show their plans, say this where the council can invest and we can help invest as a club.

"Dalymount is different in that I’m not sure they have money behind them, the way Shelbourne do, to invest with the council."

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Cahill played with Shelbourne for four years until 2006 when they memorably won the Premier Division title and were then promptly relegated for financial difficulties.

Last weekend, Damien Duff's men's team finally recorded their first win of the season on home soil.

"Many a great evening in Tolka Park and many happy memories there," said Cahill . "But it needs a bit of work. It needs a bit of TLC.

"They haven't done it because they thought they were going to lose it over the last number of years but now is the opportunity.

"I think it was mentioned, Tolka, Dalymount and Richmond, putting money into it and bringing it up to a standard the club deserves.

"There’s a huge effort gone into this campaign but what are the next steps?"

The Tipperary native thinks that Shelbourne should now be given time to prove they can make Tolka a viable solo ground once more.

"I understand [the argument that sharing with Bohs would be] for the betterment of the league," he said.

"Shels fans felt like they would be losing their identity going to Dalymount. It’s the heartland of Bohs.

"They’re just after saving it so hopefully they can push things on.

"History will suggest maybe it won't [happen] but I would say let's give them a chance. Let’s see if we can."

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