SPRINGHEAD Football Club has ambitious plans to mark its centenary in five years with a £1million redevelopment of its Ashfield Crescent home.
The dream is to transform Springhead into a community facility with an artificial surface replacing the one grass pitch they have and build a new clubhouse.
And the long-term goal is to have the club’s 29 teams all playing in Springhead as many of them have to train and play outside the borough due to a lack of facilities, not only at the club but in the town.
Though in its very early stages, Springhead club officials have had plans drawn up for a new clubhouse by the same firm of architects that did a similar recent project at Saddleworth Rangers.
Club president Wayne Thomas explained: “We have five years to pull it off before our centenary in 2022. It is ambitious but, if it comes off, it would be absolutely unbelievable for the club and also Springhead.
“We cannot progress where we are which is why, hopefully by hook or by crook, we can make this dream come true in the next five years.
“There is a focus on the club’s youth system but, for that to progress, we need an artificial pitch they can all play on and use the facilities we have here.
“We have to beg, steal or borrow places to train and play matches. We are having to pay £15,000 a year to hire places for our teams to train, often outside the borough as there are a lack of facilities in Oldham.”
Wayne points to the 60 boys aged between four and six years who are in the academy he runs each Saturday morning at hired facilities at Waterhead Academy. He describes this as where the “conveyer belt starts”.
He added that Springhead runs teams from U7 to U16 – some age groups have three teams – and there are also two open-age teams.
Wayne, who has been involved with the club for 42 years, continued: “Ideally we would like to transform our ground similar to how the Vestacare Stadium (formerly Whitebank Stadium) has been done by Avro.
“It would be wonderful to have all our teams playing at Springhead and they could also be used by the community as there are so few facilities in Oldham.”
Springhead would bid for funding from the National Lottery and other footballing and sporting bodies, though Wayne added they would have to raise a significant sum themselves.
Club chairman Dave Donlan echoed the comments, saying: “It is a five-year project but, whether we can deliver it in that time remains to be seen, but we are aiming high.
“We have teams training at St Damian’s, Ashton, Hathershaw College and Oasis Academy and the ambitious is to have them all back at Springhead.”
Dave added that club members were invited to a meeting on November 25 for the plans to be discussed.
After that there will be a public consultation with local residents with Dave explaining the club has always had a good relationship with its neighbours.
If anyone is interested in the plans they can come down to the clubhouse any Saturday to view them.
Dave invites any residents with concerns to contact him on 07812 027072 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org