Oakham’s ground recommended for approval to play UCL football

Oakham United v Thorney Photo: Rob Campion EMN-150323-142630001
Oakham United v Thorney Photo: Rob Campion EMN-150323-142630001

Oakham United don’t just have a winning team on the pitch they have got a winning side off it and they may have just secured their biggest victory of the season.

Oakham are top of the PDFL Premier and pushing for promotion on the field and on Wednesday a FA inspection committee recommended their Barleythorpe Road ground should be classified at grade eight meaning the club’s application to be promoted into the UCL Division One can be approved.

Oakham United v Thorney Photo: Rob Campion EMN-150323-142958001

Oakham United v Thorney Photo: Rob Campion EMN-150323-142958001

The recommendation comes after countless hours of work has gone in to getting their new ground, which they only moved to in the summer, up to standard.

If United do finish top and their promotion gets signed off by the FA they will be the first Rutland team to play step six UCL standard football.

That’s a remarkable achievement for a team playing on school playing fields 12 months ago.

A delighted Oakham manager Wayne Oldaker said: “It’s a proper rural football ground now and I am very proud of it.

“The effort that has been put in by the committee, Will Lee, the players like Stu Lambie and Tony Nelson has been brilliant. If it were not for people like them these clubs just fold.”

In the last few weeks Oakham have erected covered standing areas for at least 50 people, put fences up along two sides of the ground and paths around the pitch to meet UCL standards.

Oldaker said: “We have just got to finish the job on the pitch now. We are on the verge of something very special.”

The Oakham manager said the ground grading has also spurred the players on in their final push to get over the line and claim the PDFL Premier title.

Oakham are away at second from bottom Holbeach United Reserves on Saturday.