Thursday, 13 June 2013

Merthyr Town confirm 3g pitch investment

MTFC are very happy to issue the following press release regarding our bid for a grant and 3G artificial pitch
Ambitious Merthyr Town Football Club have netted a £500,000 award to install a 3rd generation synthetic pitch at Penydarren Park.

It is part of their exciting plans to secure the future of the club and hit the target of increasing their role as a community organisation.

A new 25-year lease for the Park is being negotiated with Merthyr Tydfil Borough Council. On completion, work on the pitch will get under way by the Bristol contractors Verde Recreo.

The firm have more than 18 years experience in the industry and their first major task in South Wales was to refurbish the astroturf at Abertillery Leisure Centre.

The huge cash boost was confirmed at a meeting of the Borough Council. The money will come from the Ffos y Fran Community Fund, which is financed by royalty payments received by the council from Miller Argent Limited based on tonnage of coal extracted from the Ffos y Fran land reclamation scheme.

Merthyr Town sprang up to preserve football in the area after the former Merthyr Tydfil club which was liquidated three years ago.

Southern League status was lost but the re-formed club, Merthyr Town, was welcomed into The Toolstation Western League and after two successive promotions, a place was regained last season in the Evo-Stik Southern League (Div 1 South and West). The club's first season saw them having to play at Taff's Well because the Administrator waited to see if there were any offers to buy the ground. They were able to return to the Park two seasons ago. And the club, under co-managers Garry Shephard and Danny Carter just missed out on a speedy return to the Premier Division of the league, losing in the Play-Offs final, after extra time, in Hungerford earlier this month.

The planned developments at the Park include new floodlights, developing the entrance to the ground, demolishing the derelict Strikers social club, providing more car-parking space, and extending social and community facilities.

Merthyr Town FC are now owned by the fans and for the fans with the remit to be very much a community club.
Company secretary John Strand said: "The club sees this development as a springboard for the club to become a hub for football development in Merthyr Tydfil and the surrounding areas."
He added: "The club wish to thank the leader of the council Coun Brendan Toomey and the chief executive Mr Gareth Chapman for their invaluable support."

The club has also obtained funding from The FA Football Foundation and the European Regional Development Fund towards the cost of the project.

Merthyr Town chairman Meurig Price commented: "We feel that the new 3G pitch is definitely the way forward to ensure stability of the club. It will improve the quality of the football and we won't have matches postponed in the wet weather.
"We will be able to use it much more than a grass pitch. This season we had 62 games on the ground and the pitch suffered because we didn't have the money or the equipment to improve the pitch."

They expect a big demand from local sporting clubs to hire the new pitch. "Extra income is the way forward for the club and we will achieve this through hiring out the pitch. And we want to extend the club to be a part of the whole community of Merthyr Tydfil. The new pitch will also help us to make further progress as a club," Mr Price added.

The chairman said the pitch installation was expected to take 12 weeks. "This may mean that we will have to play a couple of games early next season on another ground."

Mr Strand explained:" This facility will enable the pitch to be used far more extensively than it is at the moment and will be available for use in wet weather conditions which make the current pitch often unplayable."

Despite the work of the groundsman, the pitch was often bumpy in the season just ended. And Mr Price said: "A 3G pitch will enable the team to play in the style which best suits them."

Mr Strand explained that the pitch would also be available to a far wider variety of users than at present.
This will include footballers from the club's associated team for disabled footballers, the Town's Football Academy, college teams, veterans' teams and ladies football.The pitch will also be available for private hire.
To deal with the increased usage, a stadium manager will be eventually employed.

The artificial pitch has a life of about 10 years for the surface and about 20 years for underneath.

Disabled footballers were at Penydarren Park on Sunday and they are likely to be the last to use the ground before the new development kicks off to mark a new era for football in the town.