Saturday May 15 2021



In Full . . .

High-fliers with nowhere to train

Posted on March 21 2007 at 2:39:39

I am sending this email partly in response to your article in February’s issue but mostly due to a recent article in a local Redditch newspaper.

I run a local football team named the Alvechurch Swifts which started in the summer of 2001 exclusively for Alvechurch kids who at that time were all 11 and 12 years old.

The only pitch we saw as a possibility at that time was Hopwood Park, but due to the amount of teams that played there we were unable to use it.

An opportunity arose through Alvechurch Football Club that with a rental charge we could use Lye Meadow, which we gratefully accepted not only for a chance to actually have a local pitch for our local team but also for the excellent facilities on offer.

We have used The Meadows playing field for the last five years for our training sessions for a number of reasons. As myself and all the players were local to the village it made perfect sense and it is also the only decent-sized playing area in the entire village.

The pitch was never up to scratch for proper matches and no one seemed to mind that we were using it until recently. One Saturday morning when we attended training, new goal posts had been erected and lines had been marked out.

Having grown up and lived in the village for the past 30 years I assumed The Meadows was a public park and believed that a team of lads from the village would be encouraged and supported in using the park for our two-hour training sessions on a Saturday morning.

Only 24 hours afterwards, when I attended Lye Meadow, I was informed that a complaint had been made that we were using a pitch somebody was paying rent for.

This was the first I had heard of this and although I understand and fully appreciate the shortage of playing facilities I felt that our side, although not named, were being put in a bad light and the attitude seemed to be that because we didn’t pay rent we had nowhere to train.

Within the last couple of years a small sided pitch has been created next to the main pitch, but although a side did use it for training for a couple of months it has been neglected ever since.

We are currently using this for training as we are not permitted to use the main pitch, but due to the awful drainage issues and state of the pitch with pot holes etc, I feel my players are being put at risk of injury.

Any plans to improve The Meadows I would thoroughly agree with and support as the general recreation facilities in our village are not up to scratch for a village of this size. Lots more kids could get into football if only the playing areas were available.

The most frustrating part is that this season we are top of our league and look a genuinely good side, but unfortunately our development is being jeopardised due to our limited chances, not being allowed to train on The Meadows.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Alvechurch Football Club for their support and would encourage anyone who reads The Village magazine but has never been to watch their local side to get themselves up to Lye Meadow and show their support.

Simon Hickson
Manager, Alvechurch Swifts under 17s

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