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Local pros return home to unveil new grass pitches at Bollington United JFC

Local pros return home to unveil new grass pitches at Bollington United JFC

Date published: 30 September 2019

Press release

Local pros return home to unveil new grass pitches at Bollington United JFC
From left to right: Mayor of Bollington, Roland Edwards, Macclesfield Town coach, Danny Whitaker, Liverpool FC Women manager, Vicky Jepson, James Bailey, Portsmouth winger, Gareth Evans and Director of Bollington Health & Leisure, John Murdoch.

Portsmouth winger, Gareth Evans and former Derby County midfielder, James Bailey, returned to their local roots to celebrate the opening of three newly refurbished grass pitches at Bollington United Junior Football Club earlier this month (Thursday 5 September 2019). The pair were joined by Vicky Jepson, manager of Liverpool FC Women, who grew up in Bollington and Macclesfield Town coach, Danny Whitaker.

The renovated sports pitches were made possible thanks to investment from the Premier League, the FA and the Government's Football Foundation, as well as contributions from a number of other local organisations. The construction contract was managed by Bollington Town Council.

After netting a £97,898 grant from the Football Foundation, work began at the Bollington Cross Sports Field in October 2018. The work included the creation of new 5v5, 7v7 and 9v9 pitches, all constructed to the appropriate FA standard, with significant drainage improvements made to the newly levelled site of the three pitches.

The new and improved pitches will help limit the number of cancelled matches which are often caused by waterlogged surfaces in the winter months. Bollington United JFC’s junior teams ranging from Under-7’s through to Under-12’s will play on the new surfaces starting from September 2019 for the new football season.

With the new and improved pitches, it is anticipated that Bollington United JFC will be able to grow from 23 to 28 teams over the next five years. This will support competitive playing opportunities for over 400 people and provide the whole community with suitable sports and recreation facilities.

Gareth Evans grew up in nearby Macclesfield whilst James Bailey was born in Bollington. Both players started their playing careers in the North West and returning to Bollington United JFC gave them the opportunity to reminisce over their youth football days.

Carolyne Jones, Chair of BUJFC said: “I am very grateful to our guests for giving up their time to celebrate the unveiling of the new pitches. I would also like to thank our major sponsors, the Premier League, The FA and Government who have provided funding through the Football Foundation. We have also received support from a number of other local organisations, including Tullis Russell, Decipher Group, Bollington Town Council and Bollington Health & Leisure. We currently have 340 young players aged between 6 and 18 registered in the Club and have 25 teams currently playing in local leagues. This new facility will make a huge contribution to the improvement of local leagues. This new facility will make a huge contribution to the improvement of grassroots sport in the area.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “The support of the Premier League, The FA and government enables the Football Foundation to help improve community sports facilities like this one across the country. Their funding has played a key role in delivering these improved grass pitches in Cheshire and I am delighted for everyone associated with Bollington United JFC.

“This is one example we want to make people in Cheshire aware of, that they have the kind of quality pitches and changing rooms that are taken for granted in other cities. We will continue to support projects nationwide, but we cannot do this on our own, so we are encouraging organisations in the area to join our movement to deliver quality football facilities for people in Cheshire once and for all.

“Taking part in community sport at any level offers many benefits and rewards, not least the opportunity for people to enjoy themselves and socialise with different members of the community.”

ENDS

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Local pros return home to unveil new grass pitches at Bollington United JFC
Local pros return home to unveil new grass pitches at Bollington United JFC

Quote

“This new facility will make a huge contribution to the improvement of grassroots sport in the area.” - Carolyne Jones, Chair of BUJFC

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