Ide Hill Football Club have struck a deal with Isthmian League club Sevenoaks Town, to play the remainder of their 2019/20 Kent County Premier league matches at the Bourne Stadium in Greatness Park, starting on Saturday 4th January, 2020, when they host Fleetdown United at 2.00pm.
This exciting ground-share news for the small community club means that they will have full use of the fantastic facilities at Sevenoaks including the 3G pitch, changing rooms and the clubhouse for their remaining home matches until May 2020.
It is a wonderful opportunity for the club to raise their own awareness in the district and playing in the Step 4 stadium will only aid them to build their following and enhance their position in the Kent County Football League (KCFL).
Speaking exclusively to Ide Hill FC’s Club Secretary, Keith McGinn, he said: “We appreciate the opportunity offered by Sevenoaks Town to be able to use their wonderful facilities. This is another indication of how far our club has come”.
He added: “Only seven years ago we were playing in Division One of the Sevenoaks & District Football League; we managed to raise notable funds from the Football Foundation, Sport England and the National Lottery to build a much needed clubhouse replacement at our Camberwell Lane ground in Ide Hill; we started a junior programme with just a handful of players and now boast over 100 junior members; and we gained promotion to the Kent County Premier Division in 2019”.
Ide Hill have since launched their own match day programme [in late 2019] to a wonderful reception, with more than 50 spectators attending their home match at Camberwell Lane versus Stansfeld O&B FC, many of them new spectators to the club.
In recent years, Ide Hill were playing their home matches on a 3G pitch at Wrotham School, however due to ongoing building works the KCFL deemed the facilities not up to league standard. This meant that the club returned to Camberwell Lane for a couple of their recent home matches, but with their junior teams also using those facilities each weekend, that pitch was never going to be a long term plan.
The ground-share option then became a reality in late December after talks with Sevenoaks Town’s committee, and with Sevenoaks’ Suburban side having completed nine of their 11 home matches for the season, this meant that the ground would go unused on a number of Saturday afternoons when their first team were playing away.
McGinn added: “We hope we can attract some more of the local Sevenoaks support to come and watch our KCFL Premier home games. We play our first home game at The Bourne Stadium against Fleetdown United at 2.00pm on Saturday 4th January. Please come along and support the club in our exciting new home”.
For more commentary on this story, including an interview with Sevenoaks Town’s Chairman, pick up a copy of Sevenoaks Sports’ January issue, out next week.