No place like home for Chadderton
Wed 6th September 2017 | Chadderton | By Ian Templeman
Chadderton Chairman Bob Sopel says they are hoping to be back playing home games at Andrew Street by the end of September.
The club have been having to play mainly away fixtures since the start of the season, due to a new playing surface and new floodlights being installed.
However, they did manage to fit in a "home" fixture against Silsden last week at Atherton Collieries' Kensite Stadium, but as Bob explained, the original plan was to get all the work done in the close season.
"The work should have started on 1st May", said Bob. "But in the end the start date was delayed to July and at that point we knew, with the original timescale of 12 weeks for the work, that we were looking at the end of October.
"But the contractors have now brought the end date forward and we are looking at the end of September now.
"The League have been very good with us. We have kept them fully informed and they have given us a lot of away fixtures, but we will be playing on our new surface very soon.
"The weather has been fantastic for us, it's been warm and wet, which has been ideal for getting it in place".
The work is the latest step in a series of developments that have taken place at Andrew Street, and Bob says that everyone at the club is delighted at the progress that has been made.
"The ground used to be open access and anyone could come in, so we had to overcome that first and legally stop that so we could get the ground up to standard.
"Next was the lease, we had been talking to the council for several years and it seemed it just kept being delayed, but eventually we got a 35 year lease and that opened the door to the funding that is available, which allowed us first of all to upgrade the club house.
"We also got funding to reclaim waste land at the top end of the ground, behind the far end goal.
"We have actually started working from the back of the area. We were going to start at the front but it made more sense to start at the back and work our way forward.
"So we now have a warm up area which takes the pressure of the pitch, and now we have spent just under £50,000 on a brand new surface, along with brand new floodlights.
"A local Trust fund has provided most of the 30% funding we needed to find, with the rest coming from the Football Foundation.
"There's still a bit of work to do, but it is all looking good so far and we are looking forward to playing games by the end of September".