September 17 2014 Latest news:
A NEW football stadium in St Neots is a golden opportunity for the town, the chairman of the town s football club said this week. St Neots Town FC took possession of their new £6.8million facility at Loves Farm on Friday and chairman Bob Bridges told Th
A NEW football stadium in St Neots is a 'golden opportunity' for the town, the chairman of the town's football club said this week.
St Neots Town FC took possession of their new £6.8million facility at Loves Farm on Friday and chairman Bob Bridges told The Hunts Post the move signalled a bright future for the club and the town.
"This is a golden opportunity and one that we hope the people of St Neots will embrace and support the club," Mr Bridges said.
"It is not just about the football, we have training facilities for hire and a function room which already has 141 functions booked in.
"We want people to see the club as part of the town again and to enjoy visiting our new facility, which is the envy of many clubs at much higher levels."
The stadium has been funded and constructed by development firm Gallagher Estates, who are building 1,250 homes at the Loves Farm site, to the east of St Neots.
"We are so lucky," Mr Bridges admitted. "We have been able to take on the facility provided by Gallaghers and complement it by putting in our own time and money to make this club great again."
The new ground is adjacent to a new primary school currently under construction and it is expected the school will be able take advantage of the Astroturf-style 3G training surface.
Sited next to St Neots railway station, the club is also planning to offer car parking for commuters when a footbridge over the line is constructed in the next couple of years.
The stadium includes a 250-seater stand with a ground capacity approaching 5,000, brand new floodlights and covered terraces at either end of the pitch.
There are facilities for the disabled throughout the stadium, which features a dedicated boardroom and physio room, while 28 pop-up sprinklers will keep the pitch watered.
Club director John Delaney told The Hunts Post: "We are keen to return the club to the community and we will be naming parts of the ground after former club stalwarts who may have drifted away over the years.
"We believe we can attract at least 200 people to games on a regular basis if we play attractive football and give the town something to be proud of."
On the field, St Neots Town currently play in the United Counties League Premier Division, which is at level nine of the national pyramid, four leagues below the Conference.
The club is managed by former Luton Town player Marvin Johnson, who
St Neots Town reached the first round of the FA Cup in 1966-67 and Mr Bridges said the directors and committee are determined to bring the glory days back to the club.
"In the 1960s the likes of Bobby Moore and Geoff Hurst came to play at St Neots with West Ham and knew they would be in for a hard game," he said.
"We want to put the club back on the map and we will get there, slowly but surely.