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Martin envious of Aveley and their 3G pitch

PUBLISHED: 14:00 07 February 2019

Aveley's Parkside Stadium opened ahead of the 2017/18 season

Aveley's Parkside Stadium opened ahead of the 2017/18 season

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Romford remain hopeful of returning to the Borough at Westlands some time soon and it would be massive for the club

Romford manager Paul Martin (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Romford manager Paul Martin (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

There would have been some mixed emotions for Romford manager Paul Martin and their supporters when watching the team lose 2-0 away to Aveley on Monday night.

It was another defeat in the Bostik North – a result which keeps them bottom – but the encounter also provided a small, potential glimpse into what the future could hold for the club, who continue to play home games out of the Borough.

The hope of a return to Romford continues and project Westlands is underway so to speak, but while Boro have battled for years to try and get back home, Aveley are in their plush, new stadium and reaping the rewards.

Millers’ 3G pitch is among the best in this part of the country and it is no surprise the football they play is easy on the eye, and they have scored the most goals in the league this season to currently sit second – three points off leaders Bowers & Pitsea.

Aveley's Parkside StadiumAveley's Parkside Stadium

Speaking after Monday’s defeat, Romford boss Martin said: “You can see our players gave 100 per cent, we huffed and puffed, but obviously Aveley are different class on their home pitch.

“They play on it, they train on it and it is nice to play on it because we kept the ball down and played some good football instead of going long all the time.”

He continued: “Going forward Aveley’s counter-attacking football is fantastic and they have other options to come on from the bench as well to change it. In my opinion it was a comfortable 2-0 win to them, but we did cause them a few problems.”

One of the many reasons Martin is so highly-regarded in non-league football is not merely the fact he continues to beat the odds with Romford somehow still playing in this division, but the fact they remain homeless.

Boro have played at Bridge Avenue, Rush Green, Sungate, Mill Field and Ship Lane to name a few since 1992 and currently East Thurrock United’s Rookery Hill is their fixed abode, but the hope is eventually Westlands will be up and running.

It is then when we will see the actual potential of this club which has had a nomadic existence for far too long.

The latest update on Romford’s new home was from chairman Steve Gardener back on January 15.

He said: “When the club were granted planning permission (October 2018) there were a number of planning restrictions, which is not unusual for a project of this size.

“Before a lease can be granted the club have to either agree these restrictions, or in the cases where the club do not agree them, then they have to be negotiated again, and depending on the original restriction and our requirement, may need to go back to the council for agreeing.

“Some of the restrictions relate to matters the club has no issue with, but there are a few, with one in particular the club is trying to resolve with the council, as the restriction has an impact on our long term vision.

“Once all the restrictions have been agreed, or have after consultation been amended then the club and the council can work towards a lease that both parties agree to.

“Armed with this lease we can then go to the funding bodies, along with our business plan, which we are writing at the moment, and ask for a commitment towards the project.

“We are working as hard as we can, not a day goes by when we are not trying to push this forward. We are of course doing this alongside running the club on a daily basis.

“There is still a need for funds to come into the club to support this project so if anyone knows of any sponsors, potential investors, or a way we can come up with some working capital so we are not holding up the project while waiting for money then feel free to contact the club.”

Like Aveley, Romford would have a 3G pitch in their new stadium and it would be massive for the community and Boro.

Hopefully the club will get the homecoming they deserve some time soon and few will be as deserving of the chance to work there as manager Martin.

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