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28th Jun, 2022

Five-year plan to make Droitwich Spa a 'footballing hub' with help from Blues' keeper David Stockdale

Droitwich Editorial 28th Feb, 2019

DROITWICH Spa Football Club has announced a new five-year plan aimed at turning the town into a ‘footballing hub’, writes Thomas Giles.

The scheme, which involves improving facilities for teams across all genders, age groups and abilities, is being backed by Birmingham City goalkeeper David Stockdale who joined the club’s board in January.

He hopes the improvements will foster a strong sense of community in the area which will lead to a clear footballing pathway for the town’s girls and boys.

Speaking to The Standard he said: “Everybody wants to be part of a family and, when I was growing up, you could see a pathway from where I was, playing all the way through.

“If you incorporate the veterans, you could be going from six years old to 70.

“Then you incorporate the ladies and say ‘Can we help the ladies get further with better facilities?’

“If they’re sharing the facilities, the benefits of those could help them in their further years.”

The Saltmen have performed well in recent years with consistent finishes in the top three of Division 2 of the Midland Football League.

They currently sit fifth in the West Midlands Regional League Division One table, 12 points off top spot but with several games in hand over some of their nearest rivals.

Despite these good performances on the pitch, the issue over developments at their home ground King George’s Playing Fields has forced them to play at Walshes Meadow in Stourport.

Stockdale hopes the five-year plan can improve the King George’s Playing Fields, including the installation of a 3G pitch first mooted in June 2016.

“If the 3G pitch can go through, it can only benefit the whole sporting community – not just football.

“We want to get to Step 5 facilities which include things like a fenced off pitch, changing rooms, a clubhouse and floodlights.

“We’re not going to build a stadium, but the point is it’s a starting block and a longer term project.

“The initial project is getting everything in place so people can see the actions we’re trying to take to move things forward.”

Stockdale, who will be investing some of his own money into the club, also revealed the club has had discussions with the local authorities about the community project and called on the people of Droitwich to have their say.

“If the people of Droitwich support the idea then voice that opinion.

“If not, then we’re willing to listen to everything but it’s going to take the help of the Droitwich people and we’re trying to be as transparent as possible.

“People will be sceptical at first thinking we’re doing it for profit, but it’s a company limited by guarantee, which is non-profit.

“It’s not about profit, it’s about the people coming through and football thriving in this part of the world.”

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