Football club on the move

COLIN WILLIAMS
Last updated 12:07 12/12/2012
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COLIN WILLIAMS

Bring it on: Long time Upper Hutt City football official Brian Wood is eagerly anticipating the new Maidstone Park astroturf and upstairs clubrooms.

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There's plenty of work to do but the Upper Hutt City football club believes its move to Maidstone Park means club members and supporters are next season going to have the top facilities to watch the "world game" at one of the region's best astroturf venues.

The upstairs of the park's renovated pavilion will be the new home for City and follows the club signing a lease for the space with its owners, the city council.

A special general meeting last week saw the football members approve and enthusiastically back the venue change, meaning a move from their Harcourt Park purpose-built headquarters.

The playing fields and ground floor change rooms at Harcourt Park will remain but the future use of the upstairs clubrooms is uncertain.

Club chairman Phil Gorman says the move to Maidstone is a positive and means the club, which has earned promotion to next year's Central League, will have facilities on and off field unrivalled by other clubs.

The upstairs needs some finishing touches but offers almost three times the space of Harcourt Park. An open deck, accessed by glass siding doors and running most the length of the building, is set to be in place for the 2013 season opening and to offer the best of viewing spots.

In combination with the still not fully completed astroturf, it is a match made in heaven, Gorman says.

The clubrooms will also provide a home for local hockey with that code based on the adjacent astro but without clubrooms.

"That will work well, it's a community thing. When the astro is up and running it will be a very busy place."

Several games will be played on Saturdays, including floodlit fixtures, on a turf which will be managed by the Maidstone Park Charitable Trust.

The venue's changing rooms have been overhauled, offering four separate team spaces and improved public facilities.

Club stalwart Brian Wood, secretary for many years after first going on the committee in 1979, is excited about the move and the progress it represents.

"Astroturfs are the way to go and this is a beauty. You can be nostalgic about Harcourt but we are here for the soccer, not the clubrooms," Mr Wood says.

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- Upper Hutt Leader

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