Monday, 17 December 2018

Football club plans to increase capacity

HENLEY Town Football Club has submitted plans to build a stand with room for 100 people.

HENLEY Town Football Club has submitted plans to build a stand with room for 100 people.

The covered terrace would be built near the goal at the car park end of the club’s Triangle Ground in Mill Lane.

The club also wants to extend its existing stand so that it can fit 100 people seated instead of the current capacity of 64.

Club chairman Kim Chapman said the higher capacity was in order to meet FA requirements for the Red Kites to play in the Hellenic League Premier Division if they earned promotion. The work would cost about £10,000. Mr Chapman said: “If you get promotion to the premier division you have to have more room for people to sit and stand. The leagues need to know you have got the facilities going forward.”

He said the move signalled the club’s ambitions and its desire to attract more followers.

“It’s a stepping stone to building the club up to go places,” he said. “If you have no ambition you’re not going to go anywhere. There’s no point me going to Henley Town and sitting on my backside because that’s no good for anybody.” If planning permission is granted, the club hopes to have the new facilities built within about six months.

“If we get promotion into the premier league this year we have got a year’s grace,” said Mr Chapman. “If we don’t get promotion I’m not going to get upset about it because this is a building year.”

He believes that Henley Town Council will support the club’s plans.

He said: “It’s about putting Henley Town FC back on the map and making it a recognisable club around the area so we can attract more people. We trying to make it a communal club.

“This is a good era for the club — we have got more people involved and people believe in what we’re doing.”

The Red Kites are currently sixth in the Hellenic League Division 1 East with 23 points, 19 off the top spot.

The club currently shares its ground with Wokingham and Emmbrook FC, whose own ground does not meet league or FA specifications.

They are currently in third place in the same league as Henley and if they were to be promoted would require the ground to be upgraded.

South Oxfordshire District Council is due to make a decision on the application by the end of the month.

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