The pandemic has not left us and I am sure that we will continue to be challenged, warns Bromley chairman Robin Stanton-Gleaves, who brings Hayes Lane up to League Two requirements
BROMLEY chairman Robin Stanton-Gleaves has made summer ground improvements to ensure Hayes Lane meets requirements for League Two.
The club finished in seventh-place in the Vanarama National League last season – a personal best – and improvements have been made to ensure the stadium, which was opened back in 1938, passes requirements for the fourth-tier of English football.
“During the close season, we have undergone some changes around the ground,” said Stanton-Gleaves in a statement on the club website.
“Perhaps the most clear of these are the brand new floodlights, which you can’t miss! These are a significant upgrade on the previous ones, and not only this but are future-proof, as they meet and exceed EFL requirements. They also reduce the visual obstruction for supporters in the terraces due to being poisoned in the corners of the ground.
“We have also begun the installation of electronic turnstiles, which are located near the entrance to the Glyn Beverly Stand. The existing turnstiles in the north-east part of the ground will also be replaced soon.
“Again, this move has been made as we look to meet EFL requirements and ensure things are in place in good time.
“Ticket holders will soon be able to scan themselves in and there is also a manually operated gate for wheelchair users and others not able to access the electronic turnstiles.
“Significant upgrades have also taken place in the John Fiorini (Main) Stand. We have increased the amount of seats in the stand and made better use of the space. Press facilities have been upgraded, again to EFL standard, as well as further entry and exit points from the Bar.
“The first team environment has also been upgraded, with the entire and dressing room area, home and away, undergoing some serious work. Players now have a vastly improved dressing room area, with further match officials’ and coaches’ facilities added in.
“With regard to the major works within the Glyn Beverly Stand, these continue to take place and will do so for most of this year, as we look to improve our offering across all aspects of the football club.
“Our Academy classrooms will shortly be completed, ready for the start of a new term. This will provide a state-of-the-art learning environment for our scholars, giving them the best chance of achieving something on and off the pitch. We have aimed to create a space which will inspire our learners to succeed and we look forward to welcoming them back very soon.
“On top of the classroom and learning space, the building will include changing facilities for the Academy, as well as for our girls’ and women’s teams, and also daily training facilities for the first team including a gym, stretch studio, ice baths, a sports science suite and of course a canteen with the correct types of football.
“Furthermore there will be office space for all of our staff, a new reception, and a new food and beverage facility for supporters, which will open on a matchday and available for hire at other times.
“As a community club, the build will also be the home for our new charity, the Bromley FC Community Sports Trust, which will enable us to support as much of our community as possible and further our impact.”
The Lillywhites kick-off their league campaign with a trip to Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday, before welcoming Eastleigh to Hayes Lane on Bank Holiday Monday (15:00).
The Daggers opened their campaign with a 3-1 win at Stockport County last weekend, while Bromley and Dover Athletic had a week off due to covid-cases at Grimsby Town and Crabble respectively.
“It’s going to be great to have you all back in the stadium once again for our opening home fixture, and hopefully for the whole of the season, albeit I say this with a cautionary voice,” added Stanton-Gleaves.
“Slightly later than expected, we now begin a new season and I hope it can be a season that can resemble some normality and allow us all to enjoy it.
“I do say this with an element of caution, as the (coronavirus health) pandemic has not left us, and I am sure that we will continue to be challenged. This means we will carry on having to act in an agile manner across all areas of the football club.
“The close season has seen some encouraging signs on the football pitch and I know Andy Woodman and his team are all looking forward to the season getting underway.
“Collectively, the manager and the coaches have put together a squad of players, whilst operating within the budget of the business, and are hopeful for some good results ahead of us.”
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