Firstly I would like to wish you all a Happy New Year, I thought it important at this stage to share with you the possible impacts on Ilkeston Town FC should Investor David Hilton be successful in his bid to revive Bury FC.
I have spoken to David regularly throughout this negotiation and from the outset, I sought assurances to ensure the ITFC project remains in his plans. Without hesitation, David assured me that the project will be completed as promised.
As investors at ITFC David and Andrew have been very hands on and this shows in what is a revitalised New Manor Ground. Our playing squad is one that excites me and our recent friendly at Gainsborough Trinity was another reminder of the potential in this squad.
Since their arrival not only has the ground had the makeover they have listened to what is needed to make the football club thrive through local young talent, we have launched an academy who had a great run in the FA youth cup which is some achievement for a side that featured players from the academy and our u16’s. We have an U23 team playing at step seven and competing very well for a team of 16-18 year olds. We have a plan to bring through young homegrown and hungry players that not only can play for our first team but to go beyond that to the higher levels of Non-league and of course into the professional game.
The Plans for a state of the art 3G pitch will still go ahead, as soon as we have confirmation from the league to confirm the seasons end. The pitch will go as originally planned and replace the grass pitch at the NMG.
This will be a great thing for the club and community meaning our junior teams, ladies, academy, Vets and first-team can train and play at the NMG on a more regular basis as well as creating revenue for additional bookings to ensure the long term sustainability of the club is achieved as was always the model when we took ownership of the club.
Pending planning permission the plans to build units on the site of the NMG car park will still go ahead in the next 12 months.
One thing that excites me is the potential partnership between ITFC and Bury FC that can be mutually beneficial and we have discussed the possibilities and its just another example of how we look to provide pathways and opportunities for players to reach their potential.
I hope this reassures any concerns that may arise from the Bury FC takeover. This is still the very beginning of the journey for ITFC under this stewardship and we fully expect to deliver on the promises made both on and off the pitch.
We can’t wait to see all of you back at the New Manor Ground once it is safe to do so, in the meantime please follow government guidelines and keep yourself and your families well.