Wantage Town Juniors Football Club finally find a home

Wantage Town Juniors under 8s celebrate

Wantage Town Juniors under 8s celebrate

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Abingdon and Wantage, South Oxford and Kennington. Call me on 01865 425431

A JUNIOR football team in Wantage that formed in 1969 has finally found a home of its own.

Wantage Town Juniors, formerly known as The Wantage Concords, has never had its own pitches and has been renting from King Alfred’s School But Vale of White Horse District Council has now given permission for them to use Tugwell Field, where the club will soon sign a five-year lease.

Wantage Town Juniors committee member Pete Garratt said: “It is a fantastic step forward for us to be able to start using Tugwell.

“I am just trying to get kids playing football, and now we can train four-year-olds right up to 10 here. We have the continuity we never had before.

“We can create a real football nursery.

“It gives us a lot more space and something we can control ourselves, rather than depend on other people.”

The football club, which came under the umbrella of Wantage Town FC in June, coaches 150 children from under 8s to under 15s.

It hopes to eventually raise enough money to build a permanent clubrooms at the new site.

Mr Garratt added “We’ll just get a lock-up to start with, maybe a couple of portaloos, then try to raise the money for something more substantial.”

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The district council will be responsible for cutting the grass and the maintenance of the field.

Defender Ben Adams, eight, said: “It is a nice field , there is plenty of space.”

Tugwell fields were created as a replacement for the loss of Gaston Lane School football pitches when the school closed for development.

It was leased to the district council by Oxfordshire County Council and was at first used as temporary football pitches for King Alfred’s School.

Local councillors first began campaigning seven years ago for the facility to be field to be used by Wantage Silver Band and Wantage Town Juniors.

The band, which has not had a permanent base for 11 years, since the demolition of buildings at the old Wantage Junior School, want to build new band hall at the site.

It and the football club put in joint planning application 2007 for a large shared building using reclaimed materials, but they failed to raise the £200,000 needed.

Wantage councillor Jenny Hannaby, one of those who campaigned for the organisations, said: “I am delighted that at long last the aspirations of both clubs have now been fulfiled.”

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