UTTOXETER Town Football Club is planning for promotion after submitting plans to East Staffordshire Borough Council for major improvements at Oldfields.
Plans include development of stands and floodlights as Town look beyond the Staffordshire Senior League less than two years after making the switch to Saturday football.
Town skipper Martin Gadsby says the developments are part of a wider aim to become a truly inclusive community club.
“Basically there has been an incredible amount of work going on behind the scenes to progress the football club,” said Gadsby. “We have met with planners, lighting specialists, the council, architects, funding bodies, governing bodies and different league committees – all looking at ways to move the club forward.
“In a nutshell, we have submitted plans to ESBC that, if passed, will allow us to go for promotion, should our league position allow.”
Town are currently top of Staffordshire Senior League’s Premier Division, with a one-point advantage over Norton United.
Ball Haye Green and Wolstanton United are just behind, and enjoy games in hand in what looks set to become a four-way fight for the title.
But promotion is only one facet of the club’s objectives.
Gadsby said: “We see this as a huge positive for the community and not just about the senior football team – as we want to develop the club as a whole.
“With the help of the football foundation and the support of the Oldfields committee we have been able improve the facilities at Oldfields already, with an extension to the changing rooms to the tune of £54,000.
“This not only benefits us but the juniors, the second team, the under 18s, the rugby and the colts. We want all improvements to benefit a wide audience.
“We have established a reserve side, an under 18s side and want to continue to grow the team so that we can look into having a ladies side, a disabled side – and forge strong links with the junior section to create an upwardly mobile football club that local youngsters want to play for.
“To achieve this we need to have a senior side that is competing at a good level of football with the facilities to match.
“Trying to push the football club forward is not about the here and now, it is about having a level six, five or even four non-league side in the future that youngsters are proud of and want to play for.
“But to achieve that we have to start getting the foundations in place.
“We have already come a long way in the space of 18 months.
“From a Sunday league side to being top of the Staffs County league is phenomenal achievement – but I believe we are not even halfway there in achieving our aims.
Town have enjoyed bumper crowds at Oldfields since switching to Saturday football, and the captain praised the Uttoxeter faithful.
Gadsby said: “We have benefited from some, quite frankly, unbelievable support from the locals and so we know there is a desire to see a good non-league football club in the heart of Uttoxeter, we want to grow that support and passion.
“There is still a lot of work to be done but none of it could be achieved without the support that Oldfields Sports Club have already given us, and as a club we would like to thank them for that.”