HELLENIC LEAGUE: Malmesbury to consider moving

Swindon Advertiser: The flooded Flying Monk Ground The flooded Flying Monk Ground

MALMESBURY will consider looking for a new home after their ground was devastated by floods for the second time in just over a year, writes DAN BARNES.

The Flying Monk Ground is a regular victim of flooding caused by the nearby River Avon and was knee-deep in water on Christmas Eve, with both the playing surface and clubhouse suffering significant damage.

Vics have only recently finished repairing damage caused when the town was hit by floods in November 2012 and secretary Julie Exton fears for the long-term future of the ground.

“My son Chris (groundsman) was at the ground pumping water on Christmas Day and it’s off the pitch now but the pitch is just a squelchy mess,” she said.

“The problem is that we just don’t have any space to dig a ditch or build a wall, so it just keeps happening.

“We only finished redecorating the clubhouse from the damage caused last year a month ago and I think that we’re going to have bubbles in the walls and everything like that again. That work was done with £650 that we got from the (Malmesbury) Flood Appeal.

“I think that there need to be some serious decisions made. The committee are already planning to discuss moving somewhere else, but then you’ve got to think about finding somewhere and getting a grant to pay for it.”

Malmesbury’s home game against Hellenic League Division One West leaders Tytherington tomorrow is in serious doubt and manager Gareth Davies concedes his side are at the mercy of the elements.

“Back when I played for Malmesbury, I always knew that you were barely going to play a game in November and December, so it was a great time to take a holiday,” he said.

“It’s really tough on the club because they’re losing revenue not being able to put on skittles and things like that, but there’s obviously nothing we can do about the weather.

“All I can do is concentrate on trying to keep the boys ticking over with as many training sessions as I can.

“It makes things difficult for us because it always takes a while to get back to your best when you’ve had a break and we know that we’re probably going to have to play on Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday and the next Saturday at the end of the season.”

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