Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Tigers will roar again soon

I WAS privileged to get a sneak preview of Axminster Town’s new football ground in Chard Road last week, courtesy of a personal tour by club chairman Ray Self.

As someone who has failed miserably to bring new and better facilities to my own home town club, I left the site a very jealous man. The Tigers’ new stadium is nothing short of breathtaking in design and quality of finish.

As always with such major projects, there’s been a few hiccups along the way, especially with the laying and drainage of the pitches. 

But Axminster Town players will soon be running out on what I consider the best football pitch  for an amateur club in Devon, perhaps further afield.

As a former player for the Tigers (I played for the club in the late 1960s and have never lived it down in Lyme Regis), I  always had a fond regard for Sector Lane.  It was always considered to be one of the best football pitches in the area and there were many who opposed the demise of their beloved Sector and the move to Chard Road.

Those who ran Axminster Town FC many years ago made the brave decision to buy Sector Lane - a decision which has enabled to club to sell the land to developers who have, in return, provided the new facilities at Chard Road.

This is a project that has dominated chairman Ray Self’s life for 12 years and during that time he has had to overcome many problems and a good deal of resistance. But he has never wavered from his dream of providing the town’s footballers with the very best facilities. That dream will soon become a reality and when that day comes Ray Self should be a very proud man indeed.

There will be work still to be done rebuilding the  football structure, especially the development of a youth section, so very necessary today.  That will be the club’s next challenge and I have no cause to believe they won’t meet it. 

If they get the football structure right, I believe every top player in this area will want to play for Axminster Town.  It’s the nearest they will get to playing at a professional club.

And with wonderful  facilities, the new ground will become Axminster’s premier venue for social events.

Chard Road will soon become the new Sector Lane - but much better. I wish them every success over the next few months in their transition to a new home of which they can be justly proud.

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