6th Aug 2020
With the team already back on site constructing an additional community 3G pitch at New Lodge, we caught up with club co-owner Greg Lake to hear his thoughts on the new project.
There were several reasons to be honest, both in terms of revenue and maximising use of the excellent facilities that we have. If we are to make the club self-sustaining then those two factors need to be made to work together.
We are traditionalists, but the reality is that with grass, you are going to lose matches, training and commercial opportunities to the weather. Our pitch has traditionally suffered every year and whilst money has been spent – every season recently – on improving drainage, there are areas that hold water and become pretty much unplayable during prolonged wet spells.
I think that the ability to train, and play, consistently on a first class surface will give our teams that extra edge and familiarity with their surroundings. If you practice set pieces in the same place that they are going to be executed, then that’s got to be a bonus. The ambition that these pitches point towards is also a fabulous statement that is already attracting new players to the club..
There’s no mud ! Seriously though, it looks fantastic. We’ve always had a very pronounced slope. That has been markedly reduced as the work that S&C Slatter have undertaken has levelled the main pitch significantly. Everyone that has seen the pitch just loves it – what more could we ask?
For us, [the best part] was actually once the work on the main pitch started. Watching the process and the professionalism of the team. We could have sold tickets just to watch the work progress!
The whole team knew what they were doing and were happy to explain things to us. We enjoyed having them onsite. A massive shout out to Paul Warren (S&C Slatter Sales Manager) as well, he made sure that all of our expectations were met.
It was trying to imagine what the whole finished product would look like. We had a very pronounced slope. That’s now been addressed by the work but at that first site meeting we were worried about how the rebalancing would affect the stands, the access to the pitch, the dugouts and the view for the fans.
The team worked through all questions patiently explaining each item in turn. It made us feel that we were in safe hands.
The ‘buzz’ around each teams’ WhatsApp group has been fantastic. They have been bursting to try it out and desperate to be one of the first squads out there. It’s definitely contributing to the excitement of preparing for a new season.
Our senior teams are geared to being very competitive and the goal is obviously to be pushing for promotion. We want to win things and put smiles on the faces of players, parents, fans, staff and community.
If we can do that consistently, with the help of the new pitches, then we as owners might get to smile too!
The club was founded in 1880 and there are now 50 teams playing under the Billericay Town banner with more to come. The teams start right down at U7s on the boys side and U10’s on the girls. There is then a pathway right through to the respective adult first teams. That’s the important thing for us, to provide a real focus for football within the Billericay community. We are now adding walking football into the mix and will also be looking to launch disability teams in the future.
We have a loyal and committed fanbase who are right behind what we’re doing but also rightly there to hold us to account and make sure that we honour the rich history of the club. We are just owners through this period of the club’s history (however long that lasts) – the club has been here for many years before us and our role is to make sure that it is sustainable and positioned to serve the Billericay area for many more to come.
Thanks so much to Greg for taking the time to do this Q&A with us, the team had a great time delivering the new 3G Stadia Pitch Conversion and are looking forward to handing over the second 3G community pitch very soon.
We can’t wait to watch the teams at Billericay Town FC put both pitches to good use next season!
S&C Slatter are the leading contractor for non-league football 3G stadia Pitches.
We have delivered more pitches to the highest levels of non-league football than any other.
We’re committed to providing first-class pitches for top performance, maximum use and longevity, with the certifications and success rate to prove it.