0 Footballers' delight at their new home

Amateur footballers have scored with a new ground after spending months without a permanent home.

Fegg Hayes AFC have now moved on to the revamped ground off Oxford Road, where they will enjoy improved drainage, new goalposts and permitter fencing.

The area has been overhauled by the Home and Communities Agency and Stoke-on-Trent City Council as part of a programme at the neighbouring Chatterley Whitfield site.

The agency has pumped £15 million into converting the former colliery into a country heritage park. The 165-acre site, which was once designated for colliery spoil, boasts bridle and cycle paths, a new brook, a wildflower meadow and wetlands.

Now football pitches, which have been out of action for roughly two years, have been unveiled.

While no costs associated with the overhaul have been unveiled, estimates suggest the permitter fencing cost in the region of £28,000.

Fegg Hayes team manager Martin Hammersley has welcomed the move after previously seeing a fixture backlog as other pitches have become unplayable during the winter months.

The 47-year-old from Chell said: "While work has been ongoing, we've been playing at Monks-Neil Park but that does fall victim to flooding."

The team were unable to make their debut on the pitch yesterday as their Coors League Division Four fixture against Stoke Rangers fell victim to the weather.

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