THACKLEY are in the process of upgrading their facilities and will soon have a practice area with an artificial surface.

Club secretary Mark Holstead said: "We have some 3G surface coating that we intend to have laid on the area just in front of the clubhouse.

"The aim is to get this work done over the next couple of weeks and then we will have a brand new facility that will, in time, be fenced off and floodlit.

"We already have the raw materials and we have spoken to some professional sports pitch companies who are coming in to advise us.

"We will be getting quotes from these experts regarding laying the playing surface area and that should soon be followed by getting wire-mesh perimeter fencing.

"It should be the equivalent of the pitches at the GOALS complex when it's finished."

The area the club are upgrading is currently a cinder-type surface cordoned off by a small wall. It has small-size goal posts and is used by all the club's age-group sections for training purposes.

Holstead said: "In the long term, once all the work has been completed, we could even look to hire it out. If we could have a source of income like that, it would be a real plus for the club.

"There will also be a lot of added bonuses for us. There would be no hindrance to the first team training during the worst of the winter months.

"The other teams at the club – all of our junior sections – would be able to use it and some of the local schools would probably benefit from it.

"After all, we are a club that is a big part of the community and one that holds that status and responsibility close to our hearts."