Shropshire FA & Telford College Football Hub Project
£1.6 million Football Hub planned for Telford
Shropshire Football Association has unveiled plans to open a £1.6 million Football Hub in a bid to boost the sport in the county.
An aerial view of Telford College’s Haybridge campus, where the new hub will be based
The new Telford Football Hub will be based at Telford College’s Haybridge campus.
And officials say the facility will have the potential to become a mini version of the FA’s celebrated centre of excellence, St Georges Park in Staffordshire.
Under the new partnership with the college, Shropshire FA will have a permanent Telford office for the first time and the two organisations will work together to promote youth and adult football, as well as Futsal, and the training and development of coaches and referees.
Designs for the hub include grass pitches, a second full-sized outdoor 3G pitch, an indoor half-sized 3G pitch in Telford College’s indoor sports dome, tailor made indoor Futsal facilities and a classroom suite.
Greg Clarke, Chairman of The Football Association
The Chairman of The FA, Greg Clarke, visited Telford College to learn about plans to create a new Football centre of excellence on campus. He said he was "very impressed" by the plans , which were outlined be officials from The Shropshire FA and Telford College.
'Very special for Telford'
Shropshire FA’s chairman Dave Simpson said: “Over the years there has been such a decline in football, and we have to do something to turn that round. “There is little or no investment in playing fields and football pitches in Telford, and as a result we are really low down in the food chain when it comes to facilities.
Shropshire FA Chairman Dave Simpson
“This partnership could bring something very special to the town. This opportunity to partner with Telford College is something we simply cannot afford to miss out on.”
Mick Murphy, Competitions & Facilities Manager at the Shropshire FA
Mick Murphy, Shropshire FA’s Competitions & Facilities Manager, added: “I can’t think of any other colleges or universities in the country which would have all of these facilities. We will be able to stage young leadership camps at the college on a more regular basis, working with 14 to 25-year-olds, and we are also looking to specialise around Futsal. Shropshire currently provides some of the biggest number of futsal players throughout the country – which might surprise some people. We want to enhance that, and take it to student level, and through to the adult level as well. We’re also looking to make this into a disability centre of excellence and academy – and the same with refereeing.”
Telford College’s principal Graham Guest said: “We have had a strong partnership with Shropshire FA for a number of years, hosting events like the People’s FA Cup qualifying rounds, and young leaders’ days. But this football hub plan takes things to the next level. Developing our facilities even more, though this partnership, gives greater opportunities for our students, and for the community, to develop the game we all love.”
Holly Davies, chair of Shropshire's FA youth council
Holly Davies, who is chairperson of Shropshire FA’s youth council, added: “Having a hub at Telford College will mean masses to us. For us, Telford College is absolutely brilliant. It has got all the facilities we need – the 3G pitches, the dome, and the classrooms to be able to put on events which are massively important for what we do.”