These articles are published in the Slough Town FC programme. The Rebels play in the Southern Premier - just seven leagues below the Premier League. I’ve been supporting Slough since the beginning of time despite now living in Brighton. After nearly 14 nomadic years we finally have a brand spanking new home in Slough.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

GROUNDS FOR OPTIMISM

Printed in the Southern League Premier Division game v Burnham on Tuesday 20th January 2015. We drew 2-2 in front of 257 people.

All Slough fans would have swapped their Christmas socks for news of a ground in Slough. So it seems Santa came early with the announcement that planning permission has finally been submitted for the ground at Arbour Vale. This time without the houses but a school with sporting facilities for the whole community. Amongst other things this will include an artificial pitch and covered seating for a least 250 spectators. There will also be a four-court sports hall, multi-use games areas for community use and playing fields for the school and nearby St Joseph’s Catholic High School. The facilities are designed to meet the ground grading requirements of the Southern Premier League with flexibility to expand.

However, this news was tinged with the sadness of another Rebel passing. The death of Chris Boxall was all the more shocking as he was only 35 years old. I can't say I knew Chris well; he was one of those more thoughtful, quieter Rebels, and the driving force behind our fantastic website; one of those unsung heroes that makes clubs like ours tick. We've lost so many of our Rebel friends over the years since we've have been homeless and its heartbreaking to think of those that have put so much into the club will never see us play back in the town where we belong.

I asked Chairman Steve Easterbrook a few questions about the ground



Q Are you confident that the Rebels really are coming home sooner rather than later

Steve “With all the setbacks we have encountered it is very difficult to be 100% confident. However this is the furthest we have got and I would like to think that there is a now determined effort and momentum to finally bring the club back into the town where it belongs. “

Q Was the decision to have a 3G pitch an easy one?
Steve “Yes.”

Q Do you think this is the way forward for lower league clubs to survive?
Steve “Absolutely – it is not only the way forward for clubs it is the way forward for communities as the pitch can be better utilised as opposed to just the couple of times a week you can play on a grass pitch. Also with an artificial pitch there is less chance that a game will be called off. If you take last New Year’s Day, which is traditionally one of the best supported days of the entire season – out of approximately 133 scheduled games at Step 1 to 4, 91 were postponed – this will have cost clubs thousands of pounds. It has taken the FA a long time, however artificial pitches are now accepted in the FA Cup, in the Conference League and it won’t be long before the professional leagues accept them.”

Q And finally, are you enjoying the Southern Premier and how do you think we are doing
Steve “Really enjoying this season and visiting all the new grounds. It goes without saying that the standard of football is higher however on our day we have shown that we can be a match for anyone. Of course if you have an off day you can get severely punished (Redditch at home….ouch!).”


As some of the development land falls in Green Belt, the development still hinges on a final sign-off from the Government. Let's hope Eric Pickles doesn't do a Scrooge and Slough Town Wanderers can finally have a home to call their own soon.

1 Comments:

Anonymous tony r said...

thanks and let's hope the ground development progresses smoothly and quickly.
Shame about today's match proving the point!

8:48 pm

 

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