Longwell get set for Lyde Green community complex unveiling
A busy and eventful August 26 kicks off at 10am with refreshments on offer before a series of junior training and exhibition games involving under-8 boys and girls takes proceedings up to noon when Cllr Toby Savage, leader of South Gloucestershire Council, will conduct the official opening ceremony.
There’s to be more football action to savour in the afternoon, with veterans and youth bridging the generational divide to put practice sessions and matches on parade, while the family feel continues with the provision of a barbecue, bouncy castle and temporary bar throughout the day.
The event takes place at the gleaming-new Lyde Green Howsmoor Lane community ground, which will not only be put to good use by Longwell Green’s three senior sides but by a plethora of junior boys and girls, not to mention their aspiring under-18 set-up.
Whilst Longwell’s first team will continue to play their home games at their spiritual Shellards Road HQ, the club’s reserve section, who perform in the Bristol Premier Combination, have claimed the facility for their home fixtures.
First team manager Mitchell Hodge enthused: “The club as a whole has already been using the Lyde Green ground throughout the summer and it really is a fantastic, state-of-the-art space with two full-sized grass pitches and a few smaller-sized ones.
“The changing rooms are brilliant too and now we’re looking forward to the official opening on Sunday to enable local residents to have a good look around.”
Sports chairman John Gibbs said his club had been entrusted by the GreenSquare group to run the community-funded project.
The facility, he stressed, is “open to all neighbouring residents to enjoy”, adding that there had been a “massive response” from local youngsters joining up with Longwell Green’s burgeoning FA Charter Standard Community Club operation.
Tables and chairs are likely to be provided but visitors on the day are welcome to bring their own picnic chairs and blankets.
No dogs or bicycles are allowed at the venue and while the complex’s car park will be closed to everyone except volunteers and staff, free parking can be found at the neighbouring Science Park or at Lyde Green Park and Ride.
The facility will be used by more than 50 of Longwell Green Sports’ junior teams for three to 18-year-olds, as well as those three senior sides. The club, created in 1966, won GFA Charter Standard Community Club of the Year awards in 2014, 2015 and 2017 when they also picked up the Bristol Post Community Club of the Year.
Gibbs stressed: “Longwell Green FC have been in desperate need for football pitches to cater for all our teams and we have an excellent record for being a family friendly, community-based club but also competitive with some excellent coaches.”