Bright future for the Jockeys as floodlight application goes in

Newmarket Town v Ely City FA Vase'Steve Holder celebrates his goal with Ross Paterson'Picture Mark Westley ANL-150410-234013009
Newmarket Town v Ely City FA Vase'Steve Holder celebrates his goal with Ross Paterson'Picture Mark Westley ANL-150410-234013009

Newmarket Town Football Club are looking to build a bright future after submitting a new planning application for new floodlights.

The Jockeys are also hoping to add new fencing and new access arrangements, as well as revamping the dressing rooms at their Cricket Field Road home.

And with plans in motion already to convert to a 3G pitch next year, Newmarket’s chairman John Olive is excited about what the future holds for the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division club.

“It’s an exciting time for the club,” he said. “There’s a few more difficult hurdles to overcome, but we’re confident that we should hopefully have a 3G pitch ready for next season.

“Our last five games of this season have been scheduled so that they are away, so we are hoping to begin work on the pitch on April 4th.”

The pitch at Cricket Field Road was set to undertake a geological survey earlier this week, which would go someway to determining the costs of switching to a 3G surface.

“The geological survey will involve digging a few holes,” explained Olive. “There are two or three different types of 3G pitches, and we’ve decided on what type we require.

“We’ve been told it’s solid chalk underneath the pitch. The survey should confirm this and we can then find out an accurate price in terms of how much we will need to spend on the ground.”

Newmarket’s final home game of the season is now scheduled for March 19, some six weeks before the Thurlow Nunn League season finishes.

Trips to Godmanchester Rovers, Haverhill Rovers, Long Melford, Hadleigh United and Whitton United will conclude the season for Kevin Grainger’s men, who currently occupy seventh place in the Premier Division table.

The implementation of the 3G pitch is expected to take between 12 and 16 weeks, with the club hoping to be able to try out the facilities a few weeks before the start of the 2016-17 season.

“The league have been kind enough to switch our last five matchdays of the season around so we can start the process in early April,” the Newmarket chairman said.

“It’s a 12 to 16 week project which would see us through April, May, June and some of July. We’d like to get used to the different surface before the new season starts if we can, so hopefully it will all be ready to go sometime in July.”

The East Cambridgeshire District Council will be making a decision on the club’s latest application for an extension to the existing clubhouse, new fencing, new floodlighting and new access arrangements on February 24.

n Newmarket Town slipped to a third consecutive defeat at the weekend, losing 4-1 to Premier Division leaders Norwich United.

Matt Blake and Adam Hipperson gave Norwich a 2-0 lead at the break, before Blake got on the scoresheet again four minutes into the second-half.

Deakan Napier pulled one back for Newmarket on the hour mark, but United ensured their would be no late comeback after Jamie Speller regained their three-goal lead in the closing minutes.

The Jockeys will hope to end their recent losing run when they host fourth place Godmanchester Rovers on Boxing Day (11.30am) for what is scheduled to be their final game of 2015.