Andy Pryce: Renovation a huge benefit to the AFC Telford community
Chairman Andy Pryce says AFC Telford United’s vital pitch renovation will have a positive impact on the entire community.
The Bucks this week confirmed a grant of £99,000 from the Football Foundation that helped them completely revamp the New Bucks Head surface and drainage, which had almost totally rotted and clogged after two decades.
The club are excited at, for the first time in recent memory, having a ‘brilliant’ pitch and the benefits it will bring to the town and community as a whole.
“A lot of hard work has gone behind the scenes over the last six months. Mick Murphy and Dave Simpson from the Shropshire FA were instrumental, and Luke (Shelley) put a lot of hard work in for us,” said Pryce.
“The pitch was nearly 20 years old, we were panicking over the smallest bit of rain that we’d have to call off games. We can’t be like that.
“Before Covid hit we were really doubtful about whether we could host the junior finals on there.
“Having played junior football in the area I was lucky enough to play on the old Bucks Head a couple of times. I know how important it is for young boys and girls in the community.
“Now it should be just as good in April and May as it is at the start of the season.”
Pryce continued: “If we hadn’t got the grant we’d have spent some money on the pitch but it would just be putting a plaster over the cracks.
“Hopefully that’s now been resolved. We’ve patched it up from the bottom upwards. We’re still a few weeks from being able to play on it.
“It’s great the Football Foundation are able to do this, I know they help a lot of clubs in the Telford area.
“We’re very grateful, especially in these times, we were a little bit panicky at one point when the FA said it might cut costs, but we were able to get our funding over the line.”
Pryce feels that the benefit of a pristine playing surface will also come as a boost to Gavin Cowan’s first team.
He said: “Me and Gav always talk about the little one per cents we can do in what we try to implement.
“It’s giving the players no excuses, so to speak, a good platform to do what they need to do. This is another one of those one per cents.
“Hopefully you won’t see players getting the ball trapped under their feet because they are in two inches of mud.
“Hopefully they will enjoy playing on the pitch in front of a packed stadium soon enough.”