Ashford's move to Reachfields Stadium suits our ambition to play at a semi-professional level in the near future, says chairman Steve Rollings
AMBITIOUS Kent County League side Ashford have announced a long-term ground share agreement with Isthmian League South East Division side Hythe Town.
The Steamers - formed in 2016 - will move into Reachfields Stadium and will host Rochester City in their first game at their new ground on Saturday 11 September 2021.
The Steamers, who currently sit in second-place in the Kent County League Division One Central & East after three league games, have been playing their home games at the Pound Lees Sports Ground in Hamstreet for the past four years, but have been on the lookout for a new venue to support the rapid progression of the club.
Ashford chairman Steve Rollings and vice-chairman Peter Young are pleased to have reached the agreement with their counterparts at Hythe Town and thanked their chairman Mark Jenner in particular for his support in getting the deal completed.
Rollings said in a statement: “This is a great day for Ashford FC. The committee here have been working extremely hard over the last few months to secure a venue that would suit our ambition to play at a semi-professional level in the near future and moving to Hythe is the first step to achieving that goal.
“Peter Knows Mark Jenner very well from their time at Ashford Town together and he can see our ambition as a club and we thank him and his fellow directors at Hythe Town Football Club for helping us take another step forward to achieving our goal.”
Assistant manager Ryan Mills added: “Moving to Reachfields will be a big boost for the players. The facilities are excellent there and the playing surface looks really good this season and perfect to our style of play.
“It’s a real selling point to the players too and something that gives us an advantage over other clubs at our level, especially to attract sponsors and supporters in the area and help grow as a club.”
Ashford will play their final fixture in Hamstreet this Saturday when they host Equinoccial in the Bill Manklow Inter-Regional Cup First Round, before welcoming Rochester City to their new surroundings seven days later.
Meanwhile, Hythe Town welcome Ascot United to Reachfields Stadium in The FA Cup First Qualifying Round on Saturday 4 September 2021 (15:00).
Visit Ashford’s website: www.ashfordfc.org.uk