AN OXFORD United star has spoken out in support of a local football club which faces an uncertain future.

Striker Matty Taylor said it would be a ‘shame for the local community’ if Woodstock Town FC was forced to close its doors.

The future of the club is in doubt, unless it can secure a new location.

The club, which began life in the early twentieth century, requires a new ground with floodlights.

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After his release from Oxford United as a youngster, Mr Taylor joined Woodstock for a season, where the 29-year-old began ‘playing against men and learning the dark arts of the game’.

He said: “I’m hoping it can get resolved and they can find a new ground somewhere.

“It’s been good for my own development and for local kids in Woodstock.”

The club thought it had could find its new home at a housing estate proposed for South East Woodstock on the site known as PR10.

The site, until recently, had been supported by Cherwell District Council in its Local Plan, and any developer would have been asked to provide land for a new grass pitch with floodlights, a modern clubhouse and a 3G astro pitch.

Oxford Mail:

Blenheim Estate, which manages land around the palace, had even put forward a plan to build an estate on the site including 410 homes.

It would have expected to provide the cash for the new a new football club site as part of so-called S106 agreements which developers sign to fund local facilities.

However, the council’s decision at the end of last year not to include the site in the Local Plan has put question marks around the future of the club.

Neil Roberts, chairman of Woodstock Town FC, said: “We currently run two men’s teams but have had to take two voluntary relegations in the last few years because our ground is not up to the standard required by the FA.

“We have been turned down three times by planning for floodlights which are non-negotiable if we are to progress as a club.

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“The new development would also be transformational for the Marlborough School and the wider community which would be able to use the new astro pitch.

“It is unfortunate that a town the size of Woodstock does not already have this kind of facility.

“This season we have reintroduced our youth system and any new venue would allow us to form more youth teams, which is vital for the sustainability of football in the town.

“Without the hope of a new floodlit ground and modern facilities, it will be a struggle to survive.

“I very much doubt we will be in existence a few years from now.”

Oxford Mail:

Roger File, property director at Blenheim Estates, added: “Woodstock Town FC has been part of the local community for over 100 years, it would be a huge shame if it isn’t given the opportunity it deserves to grow and flourish.”

Blenheim Estate Homes has submitted its objections to the removal of PR10 to the council as part of the Local Plan consultation process.

Cherwell District Council has been approached for a comment.