Five new pitches for village club

A football club forced to play its home games over an hour away could soon have its own facilities for the first time in its history.

Youngsters from the club celebrate after it was gifted the 99 year lease
Youngsters from the club celebrate after it was gifted the 99 year lease

Shawbury United FC has unveiled plans for five pitches behind the Farm Shop, off the A53 Shrewsbury Road, after the land was gifted to the club by local businessman Gerard Verdino on a 99-year lease.

The club is now trying to raise £20,000 towards the construction of its new facilities, which include two floodlit pitches for the first and second teams and three smaller pitches for the youth and children’s sides.

Plans submitted to Shropshire Council also show a training area, two storage containers and a car park with provision for coach and minibus parking.

There are ambitions to construct a 100-seat stand, changing rooms and a clubhouse with a kitchen, offices and meeting areas. These additions will be subject to further planning applications.

The first team, which plays in the West Midlands Premier Division, is currently playing its home matches 40 miles away at Ludlow Town FC’s stadium, while junior matches are held at venues in and around Shawbury.

The club said in a supporting statement submitted to the council: “Whilst the playing surfaces and facilities are generally good, the club has to hire these venues, added to which, the club never has the home advantage.

“This results in the club never feeling like it has a true home and as the cost of facilities have risen year on year, the club currently spends thousands of pounds on venue hire subsequent to it not having its own ground and facilities.

“The proposed relocation of the club onto a dedicated site would be a fantastic opportunity for the club.

“The site would allow the club to grow and provide sporting opportunities and a social focus for the young and active in the village and the wider area.

“The club, its players, parents and the local community wholeheartedly support the proposed move.

“The club acknowledges that this move could be a significant milestone in the history of Shawbury Football Club and Shawbury United Juniors.

“This support is based on the factors noted within this document and will allow the clubs to grow and flourish within the village of Shawbury to the benefit of all sections of the community.”

The club launched in 1992 and now has more than 240 players in its senior and junior teams.

The application will be decided by Shropshire Council in the coming months. It is hoped the first team will be able to play its home games in Shawbury from the start of the 2021/22 season.

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