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Stoke legend Sidibé unveils stadium upgrade ahead of Potters friendly

Stoke legend Sidibé unveils stadium upgrade ahead of Potters friendly

That's Hanley! Stoke legend Sidibé unveils stadium upgrade in fixture vs the Potters

Former Stoke City FC striker Mamady Sidibé officially unveiled Hanley Town FC’s stadium upgrade at Potteries Park recently (Tuesday 20 December 2016), prior to the club’s Staffordshire FA Senior Cup fixture vs Stoke City FC Under-23s, who won the game 3-0 on penalties. 

The project was made possible thanks to a grant from the Premier League, through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF), the largest funders of non-league football in the country.

The development has included the installation of new pitch perimeter fencing and an additional spectator standing area, alongside improvements to existing spectator standing areas. A new car parking facility, that includes a disabled area, has also been built. 

The project has enabled the club to meet the required FA National Ground Grading Criteria, allowing them to progress up the National League System where they currently play Step Six football in the Premier Division of the North West Counties League. 

The project was made possible thanks to a £59,223 grant from the Premier League, through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund (FSIF). This grant builds upon previous FSIF investment in 2014, when Hanley Town FC were awarded £16,210 to build a new spectator stand and improve their dugout facilities.

Funded with £5.2m each year from the Premier League, the FSIF is the country’s largest provider of grants towards projects that help improve the comfort and safety of lower league football grounds in both the professional and amateur game. These improvements range from new football stands and turnstiles to floodlighting and improved provision for disabled supporters.

Sidibé, the former Mali international who made over 150 appearances for the Potters, said: “The home facilities here at Potteries Park really are top quality and it’s great to see Stoke City bringing over their Under-23s for the cup fixture. It’s important to have the top teams being able to play against those at the lower levels, with these games only able to take place through the support of the grassroots game.

“I’d like to thank the club for inviting me to take part, and also the Premier League, through the FSIF, for their financial support that has enabled these new facilities to be built.”

John Powell, Chairman, Hanley Town FC, said: “The support afforded to clubs like ourselves via the Premier League, through the FSIF, is something that we here at Hanley Town FC will be eternally grateful. Like many semi-professional clubs throughout the country, financial sustainability is the key to success and without such great funding opportunities like the FSIF, I feel certain that there would be far fewer facilities, like our own, which in turn means that there would be far fewer community facilities who can, like us, open their doors to engage with our friends and neighbours.

“Working with the FSIF over the last two years has meant that not only have our facilities improved enabling us to play at a higher level of football, it also means that we have attracted 11 new teams that very proudly represent our very own Football Academy and have launched a very successful Community Coaching School, which sees us engage with in excess of 120 children from across the region every week.

“The team supporting and managing the FSIF have great knowledge and are a very hands-on informative team which makes doing business with them very easy. I would encourage everyone to get in touch and see what a difference they can make. Like us, they could take you that one step closer to achieving your dreams.”

Peter McCormick OBE, Chairman of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund, said: “It is fantastic to see Hanley Town FC rewarded with a new stadium upgrade, thanks to the Premier League’s financial investment through the FSIF.

“These are the very projects that enable clubs to really progress and push on through the National League System, helping match their long-held ambitions alongside the necessary stadia infrastructure. It’s a great moment for the club and I wish them all the best for the future.” 

ENDS

For more information, please contact:
- John Powell at john.powell@potteriesmechanicalservices.co.uk or on 07976 724 086
- Michael Boniface at michael.boniface@footballfoundation.org.uk or on 0345 345 4555 Ext: 4292 

That's Hanley! Stoke legend Sidibé unveils stadium upgrade in fixture vs the Potters
Hanley Town FC played against Stoke City Under-23s as part of the opening celebrations.

Quote

“The home facilities here at Potteries Park really are top quality and it’s great to see Stoke City bringing over their Under-23s for the cup fixture. It’s important to have the top teams being able to play against those at the lower levels, with these games only able to take place through the support of the grassroots game.

Mamady Sidibe, former Stoke City FC

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