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Concern over public use of Cherries’ training facility
Harry Redknapp takes a shot at goal when opening AFC Bournemouth’s new training ground by the club’s stadium last August
COMMUNITY football clubs are being denied access to AFC Bournemouth’s new training pitches, despite repeated promises they would be open to the public.
The League One club was granted planning permission for a state of the art new training facility behind the Goldsands Stadium at Kings Park a year ago, providing it agreed to let Bournemouth Premier League sides use one of the pitches at weekends.
Former Cherries manager Harry Redknapp led the celebrations as the facility was officially opened last August but the club insists the pitches are still not ready to be opened to the community, sparking concerns among both Bournemouth Football Association and Bournemouth Borough Council.
Daren Hills, secretary and commercial manager at the Bournemouth FA, said: “We are doing our best to leave it with the council and they are doing what they can to get it right. They are hopeful we will be playing on it in the next couple of weeks.
“I think Bournemouth are enjoying having it on their own and I can understand why they don’t want the public on there but unfortunately it’s public ground and it’s a condition of the pitches being built in the first place,” he said.
“We’ve got teams that are itching to play on it,” he added.
Cherries chairman Eddie Mitchell told the Echo local football teams would have to wait until the start of the season to try out the new facilities.
He said: “We’ve been advised by people that the pitches will take at least until then to settle down.
“We’re only allowing our boys to do minimal training on it until it settles down.
“We’ve every intention of meeting our obligations but it would be a bit foolish to use it when it’s not ready and risk ruining it.
“We’ve spent a lot of money doing the work, it would be silly to go against the advice of people who did it and use it too intensively. “There’s got to be a certain amount of common sense here and I’m sure the council and BFA will see that,” Mr Mitchell added.