Steels’ ground investment pays off

Allen Bethel
Allen Bethel
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Stocksbrisdge Park Steels have seen the benefit of having extensive work carried out on the pitch last summer with no first team games lost to the wet weather.

Steels’ game at Stafford Rangers last weekend was the third to be postponed away from home. But it’s been a different story at Bracken Moor where even a torrential downpour just before kick off in the last home outing against Whitby Town didn’t prevent the game going ahead.

A total of £40,000 was spent on the ground with the help of funding from Sport England and Football Stadia, which saw the pitch taken up, new drains installed, and a new pitch laid.

Chairman Allen Bethel said: “If the work had not been carried out, with the wet weather we have experienced over the past month or so, I’m certain we wouldn’t have played a home game since Christmas.”

It is all part of a massive improvement of the club’s facilities which is planned to be officially opened with a football tournament on June 14. A further £300,000 has been spent with funding from Football Foundation (£225,000) and Sport England (£30.000) with the club making up the balance through various fund raising events and donations.

Secure fencing has been put around the two pitches directly opposite the s main stadium. The pitches have been re-laid with new drainage system put in and new hard surface car park.

Work which badly needed doing to help the club move forward, said Bethel: “It’s been a massive project which is now almost finished. We will have two Sunday teams playing on the pitches from next season, the Bracken Moor Sports & Social club and Stockbridge Park Steels Sunday team, 70% of which are ex junior players.

“It will be used by the U18’s and the juniors will be able to train there in summer. Jamie Vardy starting his playing days for the club there and we will hope to find another Vardy coming through the ranks once everything is up and running.”