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‘Give them the environment to kick a ball about’ - Football club raising money to renovate youth pitches

PUBLISHED: 10:00 01 December 2018

Nigel Armes of Thetford Football Club. Photograph Simon Parker

Nigel Armes of Thetford Football Club. Photograph Simon Parker

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A return to jumpers for goalposts and a community-based club are the driving force behind the chairman of Thetford Town FC aspirations to renovate the club’s three youth pitches.

The main pitch at Thetford Town FC. Photograph Simon ParkerThe main pitch at Thetford Town FC. Photograph Simon Parker

Nigel Armes, who has been chairman at the club for four years, wants to protect what he says is the last place children can come and just kick a ball about.

The club is in the process of raising £5,000 to help pay for the maintenance and renovation of the pitches and ensure they are fit for use.

Mr Armes said: “The main pitch is beginning to look more like a pitch for the level we play in. We took on the back pitches from the sports centre about 18 months ago simply because they were terrible and the resources weren’t being put in.

“We have done quite a bit to them, they are getting better, but they need some real work done to them.”

He added: “We have got three pitches up and running, probably room for a fourth one.

“We are putting there, with permission, a small cabin for the youth and their parents to have cups of teas and we also have a little marquee so it makes a bit more of a community thing.

“The pitches need reseeding, they need fertilizer on them, they need aerating and they need some sand to flatten them up.

“We might get some equipment that is permanent and I estimate £5,000 would do it.”

The refurbishment is part of Mr Armes’ wider goal to make Thetford Town FC more of a community minded club and to ensure the next generation of talent have the opportunity to discover football.

Mr Armes said: “It is the last area in Thetford that we have where there are going to be some pitches for kids to play on.

“We tend to focus on what is right with the game but there is an awful lot wrong with the game and what is wrong is grassroots.

He said: “Perhaps you have an open time for pullover football it on a Saturday but just give them the environment to kick the ball about and I am all for that but you do need decent facilities.

“It is no good having just bare ground, you’ve got to control it and that is all part of what we are trying to do.”

You can donate to the renovation fund by visiting the club’s JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/nigel-armes?utm_id=60&utm_term=8r9Za2RYN

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