De Haan certainly wasn’t happy about that but does understand the reason why children would want to have a sneaky game on the pitches. ‘There’s clearly a lot of demand for football pitches. And such a large empty field like that is bound to be attractive. Even if – or perhaps because – it’s surrounded by construction site fencing.’ Unfortunately, this did mean that fencing was often down or broken open and repair work needed to be done on the pitches. ‘Obviously, that’s far from ideal and also a waste of time and money.’
Time-lapse video by contractor Sallandse United
Fortunately, the two pitches are now completely ready. De Haan: ‘The final work was done on 16 July 2020.’ This was not on the pitches themselves, which were already being used. ‘The work involved installing pitch-side advertising railings.’ The construction fencing has been moved and the new pitches have now become an integrated part of the sports park. ‘With the addition of the new clubhouse, also scheduled for completion this year, it’s all starting to look much nicer.’
But it’s certainly not all over yet: work on the final pitch will begin when the neighbouring building Valley has been completed in 2021. There will be five pitches in total: one of them was completed in a much earlier phase, the new main pitch was opened at the end of 2019 and the two new pitches are now ready for use.