Mick Murphy hopeful of bright future at a new home for Drayton

Market Drayton Town chairman Mick Murphy is hoping the club can press on with ambitious plans for a new purpose built facility.

Mick Murphy
Mick Murphy

Murphy is keen to up sticks and move from their Greenfield base to a multi-sport centre – a switch that he feels will benefit the club in terms of attracting players and sponsorship deals.

The coronavirus pandemic has delayed proceedings but Murphy is hopeful the project can now be resumed.

“Personally, and as a club as a whole, we have been promised to move in two to three years,” he said. “Covid has put that back a year but I still think we are only a couple of years away. Planning is already on the site down at Greenfields, but I certainly don’t want to move out of there until a new facility is built.

“There were three phases of development down in the town and two have been built. It’s no secret there have been neighbourhood plans and placed plans for years.

“Shropshire Council own the site, they have developers willing to pay money for that site to build houses on there.

“But within that the four sporting areas – Market Drayton Town, Market Drayton Tigers, the rugby club and the tennis club – need to have a new base, possibly with other sports such as hockey and bowls and whatever on a new sporting complex.

“I think then you could really take the club forward if you have a brand new facility and all the associated amenities with that.

“I think then it will attract different areas of sponsorship and probably a different support base as well.

“The plans are there. The consultants have been engaged by the council, the clubs have been spoken to, it’s likely to happen. But I don’t think it will happen for two to three seasons.”

A decision has yet to be made on where the facility would be built with Murphy keen to share the venue and open to the prospect of having a 3G pitch installed.

“At the moment the only real place that has been earmarked is on the outskirts of town, close to the Muller factory around the Longford area,” added Murphy. “We, as a club, have been asked if we want to move to a separate location, one a bit nearer the town centre, but personally I think it would be good to all go as a group.

“And again, I have put on record that I would be quite happy to have a 3G pitch as our main pitch which could be used throughout the week.

“The first team could train on it and play matches on it and the junior sides could play matches on a Sunday.

“That might add to the complex and bring in another sport.”

With exciting plans in the pipeline the aim for Town will be to maintain their status at level four while those plans come to fruition.

They will compete in the Northern Premier League West next season following the FA’s restructure.

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