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Reds supremo hopes for a modern Valley
8:00am Thursday 4th October 2012 in Sport
REDDITCH United chairman Chris Swan believes the club is at a ‘crossroads’ as he strives towards modernising the Valley Stadium.
Swan is still keen to add 3G pitches on Terry’s Field behind the Bromsgrove Road-based outfit as well as updating the first team playing surface.
The chairman feels he has had ‘positive’ talks with the Football Foundation and John Godwin, who is the head of leisure and cultural services at Redditch Borough Council.
Swan believes new pitches would help the United’s strong junior team set-up and take the pressure off the main playing surface.
He has set a target of the work being done early on in the 2013-14 season.
“The club is at a crossroads at the moment,” said the chairman.
“We badly need to develop and grow Redditch to make sure we are going in the right direction.
“The club has 14 junior and reserve teams and they need somewhere to play.
“At the moment we’ve got one pitch for the first team which takes a hammering.
“The new pitches will be a help commercially, but they will also be a boost for the community because we’re trying to all parts of the town involved at the club.
“We’ve spoke to the Football Foundation and Redditch Borough Council and verbally it has been very positive but if this does not come off soon the club won’t grow.”
Redditch are keen to maximise the potential of their home and try to welcome in the town’s entire community and have named new board members Dave English as facilities director and Aarron Byng as sports development director.
Meanwhile, on the pitch, the chairman is hoping Redditch can start picking up results in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division after being knocked out of the FA Trophy at Nantwich Town on Saturday.
The Reds, who were also beaten in FA Cup by Hednesford, have only won one game this season but they head into October with a clear run of league fixtures, starting with Hemel Hempstead at home on Saturday (3pm ko) and St Neots Town away on Tuesday (7.45pm ko).
Manager Simon Redhead is still searching for players to bolster United’s attack.
“Simon and I have talked at length and we’re going to have to be patient,” added Swan.
“I thought Nantwich were not much better than us and that we could have got a draw.
“But there’s nothing we can do about that result now, we must focus on the league, that’s Simon’s priority this season, starting with Hemel on Saturday.”
Redhead is looking for a winger, striker and central midfielder to bolster the out of sorts Reds.
The manager said: “At the moment people are saying we are a technically good side rather than one which goes from front to back quickly and we’re looking a bit lightweight up front and that’s a fair assessment.
“We know the areas we need to work on and we’re trying to bring players in but it’s not easy at this time of year.”
Keeper James Wren, 20, made his debut on Saturday after Leamington signed Reds custodian Niall Cooper last week.
The manager felt Wren, on-loan from Tamworth, came through a testing debut.
“We’ve lost Niall Cooper to Leamington, but have managed to bring in James Wren.” Redhead said. “He made a very good debut apart from one mistake which led to Aaron Stringfellow’s own goal.
“James has a good pedigree, he started out at Walsall and was brought in as a number two at Tamworth so he’ll be a good addition.”