Football future for teen team

AN ARSON-hit boys’ football team have been given a new home thanks to a Somercotes community centre.

AFC Alfreton under 14s Football Club’s wooden changing room was burned down by vandals on Sunday, March 27.

The pavilion, on Holme Lane, in South Wingfield, was also home to AFC South Wingfield 93, who are now playing their games at Pentrich Road, Swanwick.

The blaze gutted the building and destroyed all of both the teams’ match-day equipment, including goal nets, corner flags and even the match balls.

Committee members of AFC Alfreton under 14s, sitting second in their league and with two home games to go, issued an appeal to the surrounding area for a place to play their games.

They will now train and play matches at the football pitches at Somerlea Park Community Centre, on Sherwood Street, after management at the centre answered their call.

Centre manager Daron Gregory, from Somercotes, said: “We just saw this story in the paper saying that their pavilion had been burned down so we just phoned them up and offered our facilities for free.

“We just try and help everyone we can in the community.”

The team played a crucial league game at the community centre on Sunday, drawing the game with St George’s, of Derby, 0-0.

Daron, who volunteers at the centre up to 40 hours a week, said the venue has indoor and outdoor football pitches, as well as a large gym the youngsters can now use.

Under 14s manager Paul Fox, said the under 14s now have shower facilities and lockers which they did not have before.

He said the old wooden pavilion was so cold in winter, the youngsters would turn up to games with their kit already on.

He added: “The new facilities are absolutely second to none, it is almost like a professional football club. We are eternally grateful to the centre.”

Mr Fox, 41, from Shirland, said the club had agreed a price with the community centre to play there next season too.