Footballing future for cricket ground

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KING Cross Sports Club is looking to overcome the loss of the cricket section by developing the site into a multi-purpose community sports facility.

The club has unveiled plans to provide a full sized football pitch and two junior pitches on the site of the former cricket pitch.

And that is only part of the project which will also look to attract other sporting teams to The Ramsdens in what amounts to a major expansion programme.

Club officials have accepted that change will not happen overnight and are looking at a long-term plan.

However, they are hoping to field four open age teams by the start of the Halifax Saturday and Sunday League football seasons in September.

This will be possible after Warley Rangers’ open age sides agreed to join forces at the Hopwood Lane base. The junior section will also be expanded having already been boosted by the arrival this season of Halifax Irish.

“I have been receiving phone calls from members who were under the impression the whole club had folded,” said Sports Club committee member Dale Walker.

“I can assure them that exactly the opposite is true. We have ambitious plans to build on what we have and make King Cross a real community sports facility.

“We still have the bowls club and the hockey club and we would listen to any other sports organisations and try to accommodate them.

“What happened to the cricket section is very sad and nobody wanted to see that happen. But we couldn’t just sit down and say ‘that’s it the club is going to close’.

“There is 133 years of history here and a lot of people have put a lot of hard work in over that time.”

The club has an active membership of around 150. There is also a healthy social membership playing pool, snooker and games leagues.

As a result of attracting new teams, the membership is expected to rise to around the 500 mark and the committee would then look to build it up to around 1,000.

Cross are also looking to develop a series of day and evening classes to include arts, martial arts and also playgroups. Local schools would also be encouraged to use the facilities.

Future plans will also include the construction of a two-tier clubhouse to replace the existing structure as well as separate training facilities.

A project on the scale envisaged will require some funding and Walker has already met officials from the Football Foundation to see what help could be available

“We met the Football Development Officers to find out what funds could be available to us,” said Walker. “They had a good look around the ground and said it was a superb project, they were very happy with it.

“As a result the Football Foundation are going to be guiding us and letting us know where we can go for funding and what criteria we need to hit.

“One of those criteria is becoming a charter standard club. The application has just gone in for the junior section so we need to work on getting the open age sides to that standard as well.

“They were particularly impressed that we had brought three clubs together. I approached Warley Rangers and Halifax Irish a couple of years ago because we could see what was going to happen with the cricket section and they have now agreed to join us.

“Warley Rangers’ open age sides will see this season out but next season we will have two King Cross teams playing on a Saturday and a Sunday and 14 junior teams.

“We haven’t decided on a name yet but King Cross Sports and Social has been mentioned while the Junior section will retain their identity and be called King Cross Shamrocks.

“We are also looking for ground and business sponsors - anything that could help get us up and running.”

“The future is now looking really, really good. I am pleased that something exciting is coming out of here.”