Woking Borough Council has approved a formal agreement for Sheerwater Football Club’s First Team to ground share with Vanarama National league side Woking Football Club for 2 seasons. We are very grateful for this agreement to be put together and we thank Woking Borough Council and Woking Football Club to help Sheerwater out in their 60th year in football. We now have to wait for the approval from the Football Association on the ground share and the timescale of works for our new home at the Bishop David Brown School that is expecting to take 2 years to be completed from the start of the new build.
The reason for a ground share is for the club to remain at level 6 in the Combined Counties League as the FA have stated that all clubs in England without the correct facilities will be relegated from their present positions. Sheerwater who currently play at Sheerwater in the Athletics’ ground have over the years since 2003 when they entered the league to improve their facilities, these have been done except the club have been unable to erect floodlights for football at the stadium for one or two reasons.
Looking into our crystal ball on the timescale for the new premises that will take 2 years to build with an estimated completion date in Spring 2020 and being on an area that is phase one of the development the council would not want us to remain for over 2 years holding up the plan to build houses on the athletic stadium/ football stadium.
It was stated at a full council meeting from the start that both the Football Club and the Athletic Club would need to be housed into their new homes before the council start to build at the stadium. The Athletic Clubs new home at the Hoe Valley School is near on completion with WAC looking to move in on September/October this year so if the ground share gets approved the site is then open for building works to proceed. This move then becomes a headache for the club as the club have other teams, a reserve team and 3 youth teams with plans to increase the youth teams in the following season. We could lose the use of the club house with changing facilities and the other part of the recreation ground where we could continue to play football if the council come and take a full swoop of the recreation ground. We need to have a base to keep the 60 year history going and to encourage further players of all ages to the club. Having no premises and ground sharing will affect the financial side of the club, also we will have to find alternatives for training, our successful annual six-a-side tournament will be jeopardy that has run from 1982 and we will have to find alternatives for storage.
Although the ground share with Woking FC is great opportunity for the team to play there for 2 seasons, we will face a hard couple of season’s keeping the club running as smoothly as we can, but this will now mean that we have the facilities to enter the FA Vase for the first time in our history and who knows the way our season is going well as we sit in second place in the Division One we can not rule a possibility of promotion to the premier division. We look forward in our 60th year to celebrate our Anniversary at the HG Wells Centre on Saturday October 13th.
NB: This statement of the current situation is as envisaged by Sheerwater FC. The Football Association will decide in due course in which League/Division Sheerwater will play in next season