Swifts’ 3G pitch plans rescheduled for summer 2020

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By JAMES COLASANTI

SWIFTS’ plans to put in place a new 3G pitch at the Aspen Waite Arena have been rescheduled for summer 2020.

The Bostik North play-off winners had hoped to have the new playing surface in place in time for the start of the 2019/20 campaign but funding and planning restrictions have resulted in a delay.

Swifts chairman Gary White said: “Having only got planning permission in April – and with conditions attached that mean work was still required to comply – we started looking to raise the necessary funds later than we would have liked.

“There is so much going on at the club right now, with our new community initiative along with academy and under-23 sides starting, that with ground improvements required by March 31 we were in danger of taking too much on.

“The focus required to fund a 3G installation after a major promotion push was simply a project too far at the moment so we took the cautious approach of postponing.”

Gary also explained that the chosen contractors Velocity Sports continue to be very helpful and patient as the club looks to raise the £500,000 needed to fund the project.

The Swifts chairman also said the ongoing uncertainty over whether or not the club may yet be promoted to the Bostik Premier also had financial implications which affect the overall strategy.

He added: “We need to build stronger foundations before we get the 3G underway and I am confident we can do this in a year’s time after a period of consolidation.

“Swifts have a proud tradition of remaining largely debt free, thanks to the heroics and generosity of people like Mick Gibson, Andy Barber and John Knight over the years, and that is something the club can be rightly proud of.

“Great progress has been achieved over the past three years thanks to a collective effort.

“And our superb grass pitch served us well again last season, thanks to the tireless work of a few volunteers. I’m sure we’ll all pull together and make sure it is in good condition for next season, whichever division we happen to be in.”