Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans has labelled the proposed sports facility at Woburn Lane as a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity for the Stags and the wider community.
The club revealed artwork for the multi-purpose centre in Pleasley this week as work continues on preparing the site for development, which Evans believes will be of benefit to the town for generations to come.
It will include a full 3G floodlit pitch, three full-sized grass pitches and a mini pitch, as well changing rooms and a main pavilion to include a function room, two classrooms, office space and a physio room.
“What Mansfield Town needs and what (chairman) John Radford’s wallet needs is five or six lads coming into the first team,” said Evans. “How do you find them? You find them when you’re watching them once or twice a week. We want youngsters to come and play there.
“There’s eight dressing rooms at that facility because we want five or six games over the weekend, sometimes in the evenings under the lights, because we want to be watching kids develop to earmark them early, instead of watching them go to Forest, Sheffield Wednesday or to Derby County.
“The only way we can do that is to tell them what we’re all about. We’ve got fantastic community coaches and it’s great for them that this facility will be in place.”
Evans has been involved in the planning alongside chairman John Radford, chief executive Carolyn Radford and director Steve Hymas and is excited by what the future may hold for the facility.
He said: “It’s not just a training ground for the Stags of course but it will benefit Mansfield Town’s integration in the community. It’s fantastic news. There are going to be other sports around there and ladies football, which we endorse as well.
“To see all the kids in the community and for us to be part of it is pleasing. Mansfield is a big town but it’s also a town where everyone knows everyone and we want to make sure that we give enough back to the community, because they’re fantastic to the football club.”
The club have asked the community to pen a letter of endorsement in support of the proposed facility and Evans has urged people to take up the offer.
“Ventures like this only come round once in our lifetimes,” he said. “People can look at their kids and beyond that to their grandchildren and see where they’ll be taking their kids. It’s a facility which is not just going to be fantastic for football, it’s going to be fantastic for a variation of sports.
“You can’t do enough to be part of the community and I think that’s why you get people back, because you’re good to them. We want to make sure that facility gets recognition from all types of sports and people shouldn’t be frightened to say what they think; to back it, endorse it and be part of it.”
“Our director Steve Hymas, who is heading this up for the chairman, has asked people to get a meeting with him, tell him what we need and how we can improve it. A lot of minds are better than one or two.”
The club would like people to state in their own words reasons why such a facility would be of benefit to the community and can address the letter to Steve Hymas, Director of Youth, Mansfield Town Football Club, One Call Stadium, Quarry Lane, Mansfield, Notts, NG18 5DA.
Club officials have asked for all those wishing to write a letter include their name, home/business address and also expressed an interest in hearing from any potential groups or teams that may wish to use the facility.