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Pitch Perfect for Robin Park FC!
Wednesday 4th May, 2005

Pitch Perfect for Robin Park FC!
Robin Park’s award-winning football ground

New football club launched in the heart of Wigan.

Robin Park’s award-winning football ground, dubbed ‘the best football pitch in Wigan’ by professionals and amateurs alike, has finally secured a resident team. Thanks to a partnership between Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust and Wigan based football coach John Neacfy, Wigan Robin Park FC will start next season in Division One of the Air Miles Manchester League.

Robin Park Arena’s Cliff Aspey was runner-up in the 2004 local authorities’ groundsman of the year award and the pitch plays host to a great deal of local and regional schools finals, but is not used regularly throughout the football season. As part of the Trust’s drive to increase participation levels at the borough’s sporting facilities, Mike Woodruff, Robin Park Arena Manager, came up with the idea of having a community-based football club playing regularly at the ground.

“Many professional clubs have cast their envious eye over our pitch when they’ve been looking for somewhere to train when they playing in the area,” enthused Mike. “However we thought the facilities would be much better used by a grassroots level football team based in the local community; that’s where John Neafcy became involved.”

John Neafcy, former coach of Ashton Athletic, is the driving force behind recruiting new players for the team and is delighted at the prospect of putting a team out on the Robin Park pitch. “Anyone who sees the pitch or has played on it previously will jump at the chance to play here regularly. We are currently recruiting players for next season and we are urging potential players to contact me early in order not to miss out,” remarked John. “The Air Miles League is a feeder league for the North West Counties so the standard is really high. We are sure we will put together a team to make Wigan and this great arena proud.”

The club’s ambitions however do not end with just putting a team out every Saturday afternoon. “We know how keen the Trust is to promote sporting activity in the community so we have put together a five year plan for the football club,” continued John. “In the second year we will be putting out a reserve team and beyond that we would like to develop a youth squad and possibly junior teams. It would be great if one day we became a ‘feeder club’ for the Latics!”

Wigan Robin Park F.C. is currently in the process of looking for a main sponsor and on Friday 20th May is holding a sportsman’s dinner at Robin Park Sports Centre in the company of Liverpool legend Ronnie Whelan and comedian Barry York. Tickets are available now priced at £25 per head, tables seat ten or twenty people and a three-course meal will be served by award winning chef Catherine Howarth. Tickets can be obtained by contacting John Neafcy on 01942 200875.

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