Momentous moment as footballers play on £770,000 3G pitch for the first time
PUBLISHED: 16:19 10 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:24 10 March 2019
Players have been given their first taste of action on a football club's brand new 3G pitch.
After two years of negotiations, fundraising and hard work, Beccles Town FC’s under-18s and under-16s were lucky enough to be the first to play on the club’s very own hallowed ground.
Contractors have been working tirelessly since October to build the all-weather pitch, which will allow footballers to train all year round in a safe environment.
Now the club is blessed with a state-of-the-art facility at The Nest, off Common Lane South, inspiring a new generation of players to don their boots and pull on the Beccles colours.
Club chairman David Leech was delighted to finally see the pitch in use.
“It was definitely a huge moment for us to finally get players out there,” said Mr Leech. “It’s nice to finally reach this stage after a lot of build-up and hard work.
“We feel like we’ve started things off in the right way, with our under-16s team and our under-18s who have been struggling to get a game recently because they are all being called off.
“This is a group of lads who will spend the next couple of years playing together, so it felt right for them to play on it first.”
Having been announced in May 2017, the project triggered an outpouring of support that allowed the club to raise the required sum of £770,000 through fundraising and local business grants.
Despite not officially opening until April 12, the pitch’s completion caps off an inspiring two years which have shown what a community can achieve when they pull together.
With dozens of players already getting some game time on a day that has seen onslaughts of heavy rain, the product of their efforts already appears to be serving its purpose.
“We’ve managed to play seven games of football down there today,” added Mr Leech. “There were kids as young as seven and eight-years-old out on the pitch and, with the weather we’ve had, none of them would have been able to play if we didn’t have this facility.
“This is exactly the reason we invested in this pitch, so it has paid off already.
“There’s still a lot of hard work to do going forward but today was about standing back and watching the kids enjoy themselves.”