Phil Austin, who is also chairman of the organising committee for next year’s NatWest Island Games, says if the plans don’t go ahead, it will damage Jersey football, be a great loss to the local community, and impact on the Games themselves.
Last April, the JFA released a three-year facility strategy, the focus of which was converting Springfield into a 3G pitch to help cope with increased demand. After consultation, the English FA through the Football Foundation had agreed, in principle, to stump up around half the £600,000 funds needed to make those plans a reality. The States would contribute the rest of the capital.
The proposals were met with open arms by Education, Sport and Culture, who included a synthetic surface at Springfield in their ‘Fit for the Future’ strategy released towards the end of last year.
Certain requirements must be met in order to secure funding from the Football Foundation, one of which being the pitch has to be enclosed by a 3.2-metre high fence. Austin believes local residents’ main objection was to the fence, but says there’s no alternative.
Full story in Friday’s JEP.