Stamford AFC’s new home is almost ready

Stamford's AFC's new ground, the Zeeco Stadium. Photo: Giles Lawrence EMN-140827-182531001
Stamford's AFC's new ground, the Zeeco Stadium. Photo: Giles Lawrence EMN-140827-182531001
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A football club will move into its new multi-million pound home next week, although matches will not be played for at least another month.

Stamford AFC will take the keys to the Zeeco Stadium in Ryhall Road on Monday.

But the final layer of the pitch will was only laid on Friday, meaning it will not be ready for first team action for at least five weeks.

The ground is part of a £5.5m development at the Borderville site which also includes a sports centre, classrooms and artificial pitches. The Daniels have teamed up with New College Stamford and Burghley Estates on the development.

The club will move out of its home of 100 years in Kettering Road to make way for a housing development. But the new ground will recall the club’s history in the names of the new stands.

The end nearest Ryhall Road will be known as The Old Railway End, in a nod to the Kettering Road ground’s Railway Side. The opposite end will be known as The New Hedge End, in honour of the hedge that used to surround the club’s previous home, and will feature as the main end for home supporters.

The changing room side will be referred to as the Borderville side, while the opposite side will be known as The Town Side, in reference to locals often referring to the old Hansons Field ground as The Town Ground.

Director of football Guy Walton said: “Excitement is really building around the club ahead of the move to the Zeeco Stadium, but we’re keen to make sure this new chapter retains elements from our rich history, which is what we have tried to capture with the names of each side of the ground.

“At a place where we will create new memories and historic moments, we are keen to take as many references as possible from the old ground where we have played our football since 1896, and preserve our traditional values.”

Ahead of the move, the club has secured sponsorship from Travis Perkins. The firm supplied the majority of building materials for the new ground and has also agreed to allow supporters to use its car park on Saturday afternoons and evenings. This will create an extra 50 parking spaces on matchdays.

Work on a new junction in Ryhall Road has been going on for weeks. The road will fully reopen today, but will close again for a week on October 6 so it can be properly resurfaced.

New College Stamford students are also looking forward to moving in to their new sports centre. The centre has been given a Secured by Design accreditation for its excellent security.

The college’s main campus in Drift Road has also seen significant refurbishment and the animal care department has been relocated to a dedicated and refurbished building.