The New Croft 3G opening Dec 2023 1

Haverhill 3G pitch is officially opened

THE second 3G pitch at The New Croft in Haverhill has been officially opened.

ARSENAL star Mohamed Elneny has officially opened the second 3G pitch at The New Croft in Haverhill.

The 31-year-old midfielder, who has won 97 caps for Egypt, cut the ribbon to declare open the pitch, which is now part of one of the best football facilities in the South of England.

Staff at The New Croft were joined on Wednesday evening by local dignitaries for the opening ceremony at the Chalkstone Way site, which now boasts three stadia pitches.

SIS Pitches, who also installed the first 3G pitch at The New Croft, started work on the second 3G pitch in June and this was completed in late September.

The project cost £1.3m, with 80 per cent coming via a Football Foundation grant of £825,000 and the balance via fundraising, donations and small grants from organisations and businesses in the local community.

Peter Betts, chief executive of Haverhill Community Sports Association who operate The New Croft site, said: “This has been a massive project to deliver.

“The volunteers, clubs and local community have been exceptional, and I am incredibly proud that we now have two 3G pitches on the site.

“To deliver this second 3G pitch in a timeframe of just 13 months from start to finish is most impressive, and the Football Foundation have been outstanding to work with this time.”

The New Croft 3G opening Dec 2023 2

Arsenal's Mohamed Elneny signs autographs after officially opening the second 3G pitch at The New Croft in Haverhill. Main photograph: Elneny cuts the ribbon to declare the new pitch officially open watched by Haverhill Community Sports Association staff and directors including Bruce Badcock (far right) who is also Vice Chair of Suffolk FA. Photographs: HCSA

Betts also paid tribute to his staff, in particular Sophie Grey, Lois Balfour and Holly Mayhew, for their contributions.

Tom Harrison, Chair of HCSA, praised Betts for his ‘absolutely exceptional’ work.

“He has worked so hard on this project and my only worry with Peter is that he works too hard and too long!”

Former professional footballer Kevin Horlock, who runs the Haverhill Football Academy, the HCSA Post 16 Football Programme, said: “This is now an unbelievable facility.

“To have two 3G pitches will enable us to grow and the number of users to grow.”

Horlock, whose clubs included Ipswich Town, Manchester City and West Ham United, said he wanted to grow the provision for girls’ football and had also received an enquiry about catering for international students.

“I am really excited for the future and really proud to be Haverhill Football Academy Manager,” he added.


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