Debman calls for improvement to parks
KICK-OFF WITH KING: With the opening of the near-£1 million improvements to facilities at Gainsborough Sports Centre just weeks away, a leading football administrator in Ipswich is calling for other park pitches to be brought up to date.
By Elvin King
WITH the opening of the near-£1 million improvements to facilities at Gainsborough Sports Centre just weeks away, a leading football administrator in Ipswich is calling for other park pitches to be brought up to date.
George Debman, secretary of the Licensed Trades League and a member of the Sport 2000 Panel co-ordinated by Ipswich Borough Council, says that in this day and age park footballers should at least expect changing facilities and electricity. "And perhaps a shower," he said.
While a supporter of the Football Association-funded Gainsborough scheme, Debman wants to see money spent on Bourne, Chantry and Gippeswyk Parks plus Bramford Lane recreation ground and Dumbarton Road.
"The council wants to spend money on developing Whitton Sports Centre," added Debman. "I understand they want to create more pitches.
"If this happens, and other grounds do not get any improvements, I will fight it for all I am worth. And I am sure I will get plenty of support."
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Debman and Jok Dzundza from the Ipswich Sunday League have received a joint brief to prepare a portfolio on where improvements should be made.
"We do not want the council to put all their financial eggs in one basket," added Debman.
"The council should be backing moves to upgrade the King George V ground at Whitton instead of concentrating on the nearby site at Whitton Sports Centre where facilities are already up to scratch."
Debman believes that the FA is to spend money shortly on Bramford Lane Recreation ground and Dumbarton Road. "This is good and I have no complaints over that," he added.
"British Sugar moved to Bramford Lane this season and their sponsor asked to put down a container that could be used for changing. He was told he needed planning permission. How petty.
"The changing facilities are now derelict there while at Dumbarton Road there are two dressing rooms to cover two pitches.
"There are changing facilities with showers at both Bourne Park and Chantry Park, but they do not cover every pitch.
"Too many players are still changing in their cars yet the cost of hiring pitches off Ipswich Council went up in October."
Next month the all-weather full-sized pitch with floodlighting and new changing rooms is expected to open for use at Gainsborough.
Ipswich were used a pilot scheme by the FA and they have funded the project which will give Ipswich another much needed senior class pitch.
"This flagship scheme is terrific," said Debman. "It has cost the FA almost £1m and is money well spent. Now we must look to improve outdated
footballing facilities in other parts of the town."
Nobody from Ipswich Borough Council was available for comment.