Our new pitch will be something Chatham will be proud of for a long time. I said to the chairman he’s built a legacy here now, what a thing to say you’ve done, says Chatham Town boss James Collins
CHATHAM TOWN manager James Collins paid tribute to chairman Kevin Hake for installing a new artificial 3G pitch at Maidstone Road.
The club opened their new pitch for the visit of their League One neighbours Gillingham on Friday night with Craig Stone’s young side coming away with a 3-2 victory, watched by a crowd of 851.
Improvements have been made to the clubs off-the-field facilities too but the pitch has moved further away from the main stand – which is set to be replaced by a new stand next summer – and the pitch has also raised a few feet, making viewing the action on the pitch difficult for people seated, especially when spectators stand behind the new white rail fencing around the pitch.
“The chairman deserves massive credit,” said Collins.
“I said to the boys’, you can’t help be impressed with the facilities we’ve got now.
“I’ve been saying and he’s been saying and we’ve been saying, the club wants to go places and I think this is a massive statement and I think he deserves massive credit and everyone else, the sheer magnitude of the amount of work people have done to get where this is at the short time is astonishing!
“It will be something Chatham will be proud of for a long time. I said to the chairman he’s built a legacy here now, what a thing to say you’ve done!
“I think he’s got lots of plans, the pitch was the main thing this year and he’s ambitious and he wants to do well.
“It’s an incredible achievement and he should be very proud, as should everyone that’s put the work in to make this happen because it’s now an incredible setting now.”
Chatham Town begin their Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division campaign against relegated Greenwich Borough on Saturday 3 August.
Looking ahead to the visit to Phoenix Sports’ Mayplace Road East Ground in Barnehurst, Collins said: “I’ve got a lot to thank Ben Kotey for, without Ben I wouldn’t be even be here.
“He was my manager for four or five years in the Kent County League. I’ve got so much time for him. We met and had a drink recently and picked each others brains on players and stuff.
“He’ll have a good side there and he definitely will and we want to have a good start.
“I said to the players’, we’re not competing against other teams. I know people have signed people and people are talking about whose the favourites but we’ve got to hit a points total that will get us in those top two positions and we’re playing against ourselves, regardless whether it’s against Greenwich Borough or Erith & Belvedere or whoever it may be.
“We just have to win games and worry about what we do this season. I’m very excited and can’t wait to get going.”
Collins takes his side to Southern Counties East Football League First Division side Rochester United tomorrow night as they continue with their pre-season preparations.
Visit Chatham Town’s website: www.chathamtownfc.com