14 November 2018
Hop Oast update
A round-up of the progress so far, and our expectations for the future
Hornets’ Chief Executive John Lines brings us up to date on the progress of our new ground build, and maps out the plans for the summer months.
Another season over, so what is in store for us in 2018/19? Well, I don’t know what will happen on the pitch but I can tell you that, off it, the Club is writing its own history and we have a multitude of exciting times ahead of us.
Last Christmas we finally completed twelve or more years of anxiety and hard work by finalising the purchase of a piece of Freehold land in the confines of Horsham that will end our recent nomadic existence and where we can settle down to enjoy our own long term, hard earned home of our own once again. Queen Street will always remain a fond memory in the hearts and minds of all our supporters and we can only hope that Hop Oast/Denne Park or whatever we choose to call it, will form a personality of its own to take the Club onwards and upwards for the next 100 years. We can be loud and proud that Horsham Football Club have come home to where we belong.
So what is happening down on the site right now? Masses of earth shifting has taken place and in the past few days, the car park area has been surfaced with a layer of Tarmac. Beyond that, the match pitch has started to be levelled and the training pitch will follow. We are currently running on time and on budget thanks to our excellent and thoroughly professional project Manager, Robin Bishop of TDS and the expert proficiency of our main contractors, Velocity. Some of you may know Robin, who is Physio for Guernsey FC but is based in Horsham. As a football man, he understands just what it is we need to achieve from this project. In the next few months the pitches will have their foundations and drains laid, ready to take the final 3G surface. The biggest item on the agenda which we have to deal with is the placing of the contract to build the clubhouse and ancillary buildings for plant storage, laundry room and pitch-side toilet facilities.
I have been questioned on when is all this going to be ready for us to play our first game and, of course, I would dearly love to give a firm answer but at this point I can only make an educated guess. By the end of June we should have the clubhouse foundations in place, the pitches levelled and be more or less ready to install the state of the art LED floodlighting. Soon after that the clubhouse should commence and if all goes well we should be looking at the end of November or so to be ready for opening. That said, we will not arrange our first game until we have tried and tested all aspects of facility from playing on the pitches to pouring a pint in the bar and ensuring there is hot water in the showers. This in itself will take time but get ready to move home games from Lancing by around mid season.
I can’t wait !!