Woodford Town FC are confident the dream of a return to their home town will be realised by October, in time for the Essex Senior League season, says the club’s Technical Director Neil Day
Although coronavirus has delayed a large proportion of the building works required to turn the Ashton Playing Field arena into a venue suitable for senior football, the club has received assurances works will be completed in time for the delayed start to the season.
Club Chairman Tony Scott said: “There have been some really positive meetings with the council and contractors in recent weeks and the wheels are beginning to move to get us back home… This promises to be a ‘different’ type of season for various reasons, and we are very hopeful common sense and maybe a little flexibility can be shown to enable our return to become a reality.”
We have been gearing up to the beginning of building work for a couple of seasons and are very pleased with the platform our long-term strategies have already given us before the first digger went in. Our forward-thinking club has recruited a top-class media and marketing team to boost the Woodford Town FC brand, and have already built up numerous supporter-driven initiatives whilst playing at Harlow FC, including our ‘Fans Band’ and designing and producing a very popular heritage shirt celebrating Woodford history, with a nod to former local resident Sylvia Pankhurst’s invaluable role in the suffragette movement.
The groundwork already done could cause an explosion of interest in the former giants of the non-league game, founded in 1937. We’ve done so much in the past couple of seasons that relied upon our return home to really take off: banners, posters and flyers have all been designed, produced and put into storage just for this moment. We have a considerable number of volunteers who can’t wait to get started and we want all the community to be involved. ‘Woodford for Everyone’ is a strapline that was used on social media and sums up our ethos.
On the pitch, Woodford has also had a make-over, underpinning our much-vaunted policy of pitching young, home-grown talent into senior non-league football. A smattering of 16-year-olds has been a standout feature in Dee Safer’s sides for several seasons now, attempting to play an attacking, possession-based game not always associated with getting results in a notoriously physically dominated league. The Woods will be running an under-18 team, competing in the FA Youth Cup, and an under-23 ‘development team’ managed by ex-Bethnal Green United and Enfield FC defender Shane Baptiste, alongside experienced coach Glen Reeves.
It’s fair to say there’s something for everyone if you want to get involved. Announcements will be coming soon on the club’s revamped website – or just follow the noise on a Friday evening!