Ground developments underway at Sidmouth Town AFC
- Credit: Sidmouth Town AFC
Work has now commenced in earnest on the ground developments at Manstone Park required to play at the Step 6 level of the Football Association hierarchy required by the South-West Peninsula League – writes Andy Argyle, Club Development Officer.
Following the laying of a concrete base in December last year to accommodate the new seated spectator Stand due for installation this month, a temporary steel trackway will be laid to ensure the park’s grassed areas are protected whilst the Stand is positioned from a low-loader lorry.
The trackway has been paid for as part of a grant under the Investing in Devon Fund arranged by Councillor Stuart Hughes, a long-time patron and supporter of Sidmouth Town AFC.
‘’Stuart has been a great champion for our Club over many years’’ says Andy. “All contributions to either the capital costs or the enabling expenses are very welcome, particularly at a time like this when, because of lockdown, the Club is closed to football and social activities.
“It is important that we press on with our development goals in order to meet the deadlines imposed. To that end, Stuart’s support for the Club and the football community in SIdmouth remains invaluable.”
Further work to be undertaken to meet the FA ground-grading standards includes additional spectator hard-standing and alterations to the match officials changing area. This and other work will continue over the next few months to ensure the Club meets the requirements to host higher grade football in time for the start of next season.
On the pitch, Sidmouth Town will be waiting to hear news from a Peninsula League Board meeting on March 10, with discussions focussing on proposed cup competitions to finish the season.
A draft proposal from the league includes a normal knock-out cup competition, with regional draws until the quarter-final stage.
There is also an idea put forward for a group cup tournament and the two competitions would ensure at least five games for teams to play after March 29, with a minimum two games played at home for each club that decides to take part.