Bostik League side Bracknell Town are set to leave their Larges Lane home according to chairman Kayne Steinborn-Busse.
The Robins chairman confirmed that the club are in discussion over a new site for the football club that will fit its expansion plans, with a grass pitch the centre piece.
Mr Steinborn-Busse said to Football in Bracknell: “We are in discussion over a new site. Fundamentally, we are two years in to our expansion of the club and we’re already hitting numbers of players and teams we were forecasting to hit in the fifth and sixth year.
“We’re forecasted to raise to 48 teams which is making life incredibly tough on one pitch. We ultimately need a training site and a game site. We have a training site in Ranelagh.”
When asked if the game site would be away from Larges Lane – the clubs home since the 1930s, the Bracknell chairman said: “100%. We need somewhere that has more room for parking and more room for expansion, a better location as we push on through the leagues.”
He added that the club already had a site in mind. He said: “We’re not trying to be evasive but we haven’t signed anything and we need to keep it confidential.”
The need to move from Larges Lane has, as mentioned come from the expansion in number of teams with the club looking to field a side in the Combined Counties League next season but also due complaints from residents living around the ground.
Mr Steinborn-Busse said: “Over the last two years we’ve become very relevant and the residents argument is that ‘well you never used to be busy’ which isn’t unfair.
“But in actual fact when in days of old when we were busy, they would complain, but now we’re busy every single day of the week with children playing football and parents dropping children off, they don’t particularly like living next to a football club.
“The football club has obviously been here a lot longer than the houses, but their argument is that when they moved in in the 80s, we weren’t busy, even though we had the right to play football every day.
“We are battling with two very vocal neighbours that keep complaining. An Environmental Health officer came out this week following a complaint that has been running for several months, again around children playing football on a football pitch.
“This means we need to find somewhere else where we can grow. That’s not going to stop. We are growing and Bracknell Town Football Club is going to keep growing, we are going to grow 37% in the next three to four months.
“We need to be in a location where we aren’t going to be bogged down, we need somewhere we can have more good quality high grass pitches – a little bit like what you see at Eversley & California. We can’t currently use our PA system or play music in the ground which really affects the match day ambience. It doesn’t feel like a football ground.”
The Bracknell chairman confirmed the clubs commitment to its partnerships with Ranelagh and St Josephs schools, with the developments there forming part of the winter training site.
He added that the clubs end goal was a Bracknell Town first team filled with players from the clubs academy and college courses – the full time students that are learning within the clubs system, within the next three to five years.
He said: “That may have seemed a crazy suggestion a few years ago but our team at the moment has seven or eight under 23 year old’s playing in it. You can see it is possible. We want to have a full time football team.
“We believe Bracknell should have a team in the National League. Bracknell is a big enough town to have a team in the National League.
“You can see from our attendances that as we’ve gone up a league we’re now averaging 300 and we’re growing our gates. We believe a town the size of Bracknell would support a National League side.”
Why education is so important
Bracknell’s focus on the educational front is in a bid to do things a little differently. Mr Steinborne-Busse explains the reason the clubs is pushing the educational side of things and the reason for partnerships in America is a bid to offer players at the club a range of opportunities.
He said: “We want to give opportunities to international players to come to us, and local players the opportunity to get out and go and play in the professional game in America.
“It’s about giving the young players the opportunity to grow, learn and advance and I think we have been doing that.
“We have some great experienced players in Jamie McClurg, Matty Day, Carl Davies and Adam Cornell. It’s important you have that experience and if you role that forward in a few years time it’ll be the likes of Joe Gater, Seb Bowerman and Kensley Maloney.
“It’s a gradual process and we need to make sure we are continually growing talent below our experienced players and that know the values of Bracknell Town Football Club.”