Thursday 05th May 2005
Fleet announce ground upgrade

GRAVESEND & Northfleet are to continue upgrading facilities at Stonebridge Road with the insertion of a further 500 seats to be sited at the Northfleet End of the ground.

The section was closed in February as the crumbling state of the terracing contravened the club's safety certificate.

The club applied to the Football Foundation for a £150,000 grant as a contribution towards the work but news that, once open, the terrace is to accommodate seating came as a surprise.

Club chairman Brian Kilcullen explained: "The extra seats will increase the number to 1,000 which meets the criteria for competing in the LDV Vans Trophy and puts us well down the road towards Football League requirements.

"The money will also be spent on crush barriers and improving the concrete terracing."

Providing there are no hitches, Mr Kilcullen said he expected work to start in June and be finished in time for the start of the new Nationwide Conference season on Saturday, August 13.

The Fleet start the 2005-06 campaign as a full-time club and Mr Kilcullen added: "The decision to increase seating is a further declaration of the club's ambition and intent."

Manager Liam Daish, who will be influential in the move from part-time to full-time football, will divulge the contents of his retained list over the next few days.