Make no mistake about it, times they are a changing at Yockings Park. Whitchurch Alport are flying high at the top of the North West Counties First Division table, just eight months after finishing rock bottom and with a negative goal difference four shy of three figures. Attendances are through the roof with an average of 200 spectators making their way through the turnstiles at the ground and it’s an altogether more welcoming place to be around this season. The clubhouse has had a major refurbishment, there are new seats in the stand and the floodlights have also been upgraded. The club cannot be accused of lacking ambition and Alport’s off the field endeavours as much as those on it, suggest that this is a football club very much on the up. The hard working committee are running the club like a business as it sets its targets higher than where it presently sits.
Over the past few years Whitchurch Alport has continued to develop many areas of the ground, primarily due to its decision to bring North West Counties football to the town – one that didn’t look entirely vindicated at the end of the team’s inaugural campaign. New covered terracing now runs the entire length of the far touchline and the stringent ground criteria set by the NWCFL has easily been met.
But there is one critical area that the club are keen to address and it’s asking local businesses and supporters alike to pitch in, and at the same time carve their names into Alport history.
The changing rooms and shower facilities are in need of a major upgrade if Whitchurch are to continue their progress on the football pyramid, with the present ones almost archaic compare to the rest of the Black Park Road stadium. By next summer, Alport hope to have raised sufficient donations to allow further funding from the FA, that should see new changing rooms operational by the 2018-19 season.
Committee member Neil Spencer is the man behind the initiative and said: “Whitchurch Alport is becoming more and more of a community club and we have devised a way that local people and businesses can become part of the football club’s history forever. For a minimum donation of £40, the name of any individual or business will go onto a donations plaque, which will be clearly visible in a prominent position in the clubhouse for all time. In the meantime, we already have the names of the first sponsors to hand which we are displaying on a makeshift board. These will then be transferred onto the plaque once the project is completed, hopefully in time for the new season.”
Alport are looking to raise around £40,000 to make the dream become reality and invite donations from any interested parties. The club will hand over a form for completion which should be returned with full payment and the preferred name to be displayed on the plaque. Be part of Whitchurch Alport Football Club history by making your donations now!