Bradley Stoke Town FC (BSTFC) celebrated the official opening of its new clubhouse at the Jubilee Centre on Saturday with a quiz and race night.
The clubhouse aims to provide players with an environment to relax in and enjoy a drink following games on Saturday afternoon.
Up until now, the club has not had an exclusive clubhouse, instead using the local pub as a venue to meet. Members of the committee hope that the clubhouse is just one of the steps that will help push the club forward in their ambitious development plans.
Club Chairman Ian Drew explained to The Journal that the eventual aim is for the first team to play in the Gloucestershire FA County League, five levels above the outfit’s current status in Division Two of the Bristol and District League.
Recognising that their ambition requires a series of improvements to the facilities at their home ground, including a clubhouse, pitch improvements, railings around the pitch and ‘dug outs’ for both teams, the club has now cleared the first of those hurdles.
Four promotions in the past six years and two league cup final victories suggest that the club’s lofty aims might well be achievable, says the Chairman.
The ‘clubhouse’ consists of the foyer, conservatory, bar and kitchen areas of the Jubilee Centre in Savages Wood Road.
The club initially asked the Town Council for a 1pm to 7pm booking during the football season but this was curtailed to 4pm to 7pm when some Councillors raised concerns that the presence of the football club might impact hirings of other rooms within the centre during the afternoon.
Photo: Club Chairman Ian Drew (left) cuts the ribbon, watched by (l-r) Licensee James Collis-Pritchard, Treasurer Ben Osborne and Secretary Nick Perry.
Poor results on the pitch fail to dampen spirits
Defeat for all three BSTFC teams at the weekend failed to dampen the spirits of club members and supporters who turned up in force to celebrate the clubhouse opening.
The first team, playing local rivals Winterbourne United’s ‘A’ team, threw their match away after Winterbourne scored two goals in the closing minutes to clinch the match 5-4.
Bradley Stoke were down to nine men and Winterbourne ten after a heavy tackle fifteen minutes before the final whistle led to a mass scuffle, two sendings off and a player requiring hospital treatment.
Writing on the club’s website, Team Manager Rich Sears said:
“It was game we had to, should of and could have indeed won if it was not for the melee that ensued after a horrendous tackle on Craig Potter which required hospital treatment. However this does not take away from the facts that we delivered some poor football from the outset. I have told the players this is not acceptable any more and I will make changes, starting this week.”
One spectator at the match was moved to comment on a related story in The Journal:
“The [BSTFC] goalkeeper [who ran half the length of the pitch to get involved in the brawl before being sent off] should be transfer-listed or taken off the clubs books. Whatever is appropriate at this level of football.”
“There should be no truck with such behaviour, which was at best utterly stupid and at worst totally irresponsible.”
Photo: Another fierce tackle as tempers boil over towards the end of the match.
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