Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Seaton Town Football Club fears provision of football in the resort could be affected in the long-term.
Seaton Town Football Club (STFC) fears young people in the resort will ultimately will pay the penalty for lack of pitch space.
The club’s current ground, on land owned by East Devon District Council in Colyford Road, has been slowly deteriorating over a number of years and could affect the provision of football in the long-term.
Now, officials at the club hope to raise awareness of the need for more full-sized sports pitches in Seaton.
Club chairman Steve Hayes and the chairman of the club’s youth football, Paul Grint, said: “If we are to maintain our current level of provision, meet the existing aspirations of all those in Seaton currently involved in football and to provide for future generations, there is a need for a new football ground with two full size pitches and attendant social and changing facilities.”
They added: “Of very great concern to us is the extent to which our pitch is deteriorating under the pressure of constant use.
“We are fortunate to have an excellent groundsman but, year on year, his concerns are increasing and we often face difficult decisions about permitting youth matches to take place.”
The condition of the pitch has meant matches, particularly involving the youth teams, have had to be postponed to safeguard the condition of the ground.
STFC has use of a recreation area owned by Seaton Town Council, where a half/ quarter size pitch can be marked out, and can use a small pitch at Seaton Primary School, which it says it is grateful for.
The club’s hopes of promotion to a higher league have also been hampered because the pitch is deemed too small and its changing facilities were felt to be inadequate due to space.
Mr Hayes and Mr Grint said: “In the last three years our 1st XI team has been very successful and, on two occasions, STFC was in a position to apply for promotion to the South West Peninsula League. On both occasions our application was refused because our pitch was deemed to be too narrow for ground regulations, which require a pitch to be a minimum of 64m in width.”
Mr Grint, who is also the football club’s secretary, spoke of the benefits promotion would have for the town - especially for young players.
He said: “It would raise the profile of Seaton and would bring more people into the town.
“It would also give youngsters something to aspire to when they see a team moving up to a higher league.
“It would be an investment in the future.”
Mr Grint also told the Midweek Herald there is currently no room to expand the club’s current pitch.
At present approximately 100 children and 60 adults are involved in football at the club.