We’re publishing this newsletter to bring you up to date with progress on our new ground at Hop Oast and to explain how we want to make everyone throughout the Horsham Football Club family feel part of our club.
Work on our stadium is continuing apace and we expect it to be finished by May, with everything ready for competitive football by the beginning of next season. To date:
• The main pitch itself is complete apart from the 3G surface, which will be installed once the main construction work at the site is finished
• The fencing, floodlights and stands are up. The main stand has a capacity of 308 and there will also be covered terraces as well as a family stand with seating
• There is hard standing to all spectator areas
• The community pitch already has its 3G carpet. It cannot be used yet because we continue to consult with Horsham Golf & Fitness to find a solution to balls landing on the pitches from the adjacent range, and it will be a while before the floodlights will be connected to the electricity supply and maintenance equipment can be stored
• We are also proposing to install a viewing area alongside the community pitch for families and supporters
• The foundations and steelwork for the clubhouse and ancillary building have been completed. We expect the shell of the buildings to be finished before Christmas
The new 308-seater stand
The ancillary building takes shape
We now need to start planning in earnest how we are going to run the site and to make it into something that everyone across the club will feel part of. Over time, we plan to extend the scope of the youth section which Annie and the managers have established and run so well despite the challenges of being homeless, and to look at providing opportunities for other genres such as womens, veterans, disabilities, schools and walking football. We will create a membership scheme not only for players and coaches but also for families and friends, with benefits throughout the club that will help to make everyone feel very much part of this unique organisation. And of course we hope that the community out there in the Horsham District will embrace our excitement at this new asset for the town, using the facilities as a whole and swelling the crowds at our matches.
All this will take a tremendous amount of time and effort and we may not achieve everything we want from Day 1. We will probably have to employ a few staff to cover all the activities across the site which will be open every day from early morning to late evening but we will still need to lean very heavily on volunteers to deliver a successful project.
And this is where you come in. If you have any ideas or suggestions to make, don’t just bottle them up, tell us about them. Even if it’s just a notion that needs fleshing out, that’s fine.
Equally we need people to help us make the new Horsham Football Club a resounding success so we are after volunteers. Let us know if you think you can help and whether you have particular areas of expertise or are prepared to turn your hand to more general tasks. I can assure you that we won’t be taking advantage of you and will not be holding you to an open-ended commitment. Offering an hour or so every few weeks will be really valuable but if you are prepared to do more that would be great.
We have started by setting up a number of sub-committees to look at different aspects of running the club in the new era and we will be inviting people from across the whole organisation to work with us to help make the venture a spectacular success.
Thank you for your support.
The Community Pitch with its 3G surface