Whitebank – “things are coming along nicely”

Date published: Thursday, May 20, 2010

CHRIS Hamilton, the Roughyeds chairman, had provisional talks at the ground on Wedneday with the RFL Facilities Trust to seek possible financial assistance for the continuing development at Whitebank.

He said: “It was the first time they had had a chance to look at the ground, and our meeting with them was just the first of a series.

“We talked informally about certain proposals; about what is eligible; about procedure, and things like that.”

Earlier, Chris had this to say about what the club has experienced at Whitebank so far, as reported by Matthew Chambers in the Oldham Evening Chronicle:

“It was never going to be 100 per cent perfect, which is why we stressed the message that we would like people to bear with us — it is a new experience for us too.

“We are working very hard and taking on board a lot of feedback and we have already improved one or two areas as a result of that.

“Those improvements are not necessarily visible to the public. Last week we did a lot of work in the home dressing room and also improved the officials’ facilities.

“We also put up a safety board in front of the stand as a temporary measure.

“One of the next things we will look at is to have terracing installed on the Whitebank Road side of the ground. It isn’t a simple job and we will be liaising with the architects in order to give people a better perspective on the action.

“Even if it just means getting parts of the terracing done by the end of the year, we would hope to do so.

“Some of the work we are doing because it has to be done in order to tick boxes with the RFL.

“But some of the work is on a ‘wish-list’, if you like, in order to improve the match-day experience for spectators.

“The players have passed comment on the transformation that has taken place at the ground in the space of just a few weeks. It is fantastic for them that we have now got somewhere we can call home.

“It means so much to everyone, from the players to the kitman, coaches and staff.”

That view was echoed by coach Tony Benson, who told the website: “The players are really beginning to feel at home now, and it’s a good set-up for us.

“A lot of work has been done in the past week in the dressing room to create more space for the players and to do the same in an adjoining room for the referee and match officials.”

One wall of the dressing room has been treated so that it can double up as the ‘screen’ when the players assemble for DVD sessions.

Thanks to the labours of, among others, Mick Fogerty and Wayne Kerr — a bricklayer by trade — the wall that divided the home and away dressing rooms has been broken through to create one larger room for the Roughyeds’ players.

The away team uses the fully kitted-out portacabin situated close to the back of the clubhouse.

Added Tony: “The boys are settling in and there is definitely a good feel to the place. Things are coming along nicely.”