Weston-super-Mare Football Club to build ‘fantastic’ new 3G pitch

PUBLISHED: 10:00 20 January 2017

Chairman Paul Bliss (left) and and Richard Sloane club secretary (right).

Chairman Paul Bliss (left) and and Richard Sloane club secretary (right).

Archant

Weston Football Club has announced plans for a 3G training pitch have finally been given the go-ahead, something which its football development director says is ‘crucial’ for the club to move forward.

Plans for the artificial grass pitch have been in the pipeline for the past five years but planning applications and attempts to secure funding have delayed the project.

However, the pitch is now set to be ready for the 2017/2018 season, which begins in August, thanks to funding from the Football Association, the Football Foundation, as well as some private funding.

It will be used by Weston’s youth team to train on and will be built on the training pitch next to the first team pitch.

The club has also announced it will be available for private bookings for community groups, with the booking procedures set to be announced in the future.

Jon Haile, who returned as the club’s football development director at the start of this season, told the Mercury he is glad the wheels are now in motion for the side’s development.

He said: “It has taken a long time as it is a long process with planning applications and funding.

“It also has to be in conjunction with the Football Foundation so I know people were getting frustrated with the delay as it has been a long time coming.

“But it is fantastic news. We had to work really hard to cater for the youth team last year with the weather and that will be different this year.”

Mr Haile returned to The Woodspring Stadium, in Winterstoke Road, at the beginning of this season from a job at Premier League football club Liverpool.

He said the reasons for returning were its potential and the plans for this 3G facility.

He added: “This development is the reason I came back to the club. I needed that assurance it was happening as it is crucial to have these facilities if we want to be competing at this level.

“Also, I think it will be brilliant for the education side which we are working really hard to develop.”

Richard Sloane, the club’s secretary, said this will provide a ‘great experience’ for the community.

He said: “The 3G will be a massive addition to the club, not just for the revenue stream but more importantly the experience the community will get from these facilities.

“It will improve player development, not to mention the experience our under-18s academy will gain from this.”

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