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23. Let there be light! 💡Our Wall of Thanks is up and first match is on there next week!⚽️💙

The final pieces are all coming together and next week The Athletic will host its first competetive match since 2016!! As usual we have had some amazing help from the community to help us get to where we are!

Thank you Matthew Edwards and AME Electrical! ⚡️

Matthew and his boys have been absolutely amazing already by installing all the cabling for us from the changing rooms to the electric box. Last week they came and connected the cables to the live feed via a new meter box. I have no clue about electrics but even I could figure out it wasn't a straightforward job!🙈

Works carried out by the AME boys Feb 2023

The meter they had to install to make the connection wouldn't fit inside the main box provided. The only way around it was to drill through the box and wall and fit a meter on the outside! It took the boys a couple of days to get this done but it's now complete and we have electric in the changing rooms!! 🥳🥳🥳 We are so grateful to Matthew and his boys for helping us out, so generous and kind and without you we wouldn't be able to use the facility, thank you! 💙⚽️

Drainage is now connected! 💩

Johnny has been back and has connected the drainage from the changing rooms into our effluent tank! There were no proper connectors available to suit, but he managed to tailor the fittings to fit perfectly! It is now all connected and fully operational - thank you yet again Johnny! 💙⚽️

Drainage connected to the effluent tank

The latest inside the changing rooms:-

Now that the electric is live we have been putting the heating on to dry out the insulation and condensation issue that the suppliers have been saying is causing our leaks. They are coming back on Monday to put it all back together and hopefully that will be the end of the leak issue - I'm not putting any money on it 🤦🏻‍♂️

The home changing room, refs room and the leaking away changing room

Our new sign and Wall of Thanks:-

Way back when we first started trying to raise funds for The Athletic we did a crowdfunding page.

As part of this we offered contributors who donated a certain amount, and opted in, a place on our wall of thanks.

I got this made along with our new sign for the ground back in the summer. At the time we also added the names of people and businesses that had helped us up to that point.

This means that some people and businesses that have helped us more recently aren't on there unfortunately but we will add to this when we get the chance.

Nigel Collins fitting the signs onto the changing rooms Feb 2023

Thanks to my uncle Nigel Collins for fitting the signs for us, it wasn't something I wanted to mess up! Very pleased with them and having them put up was another big milestone!!

One little thing that will bug me forever is the fact that it says re opened in November 2022, but back in the summer when I had them made that was a realistic goal, we thought!🙈

(For anyone looking to have signs made I'd like to recommend in Abergavenny who have done all our signs for us at the ground)

Successful grant application 🎉

We have been successful in securing a grant from the Cymru Foundation! This will enable us to get ball netting installed along the full length of the pitch to stop balls going over neighbouring gardens and roads! We will also be purchasing new home and away dugouts, boot cleaner, cycle stand for our players to store their bikes and scooters safely, storage container and goal stanchions! These all need to be installed by the end of March as part of the grant conditions so we are working on all of these at present! We are very grateful to the Cymru foundation for awarding us this grant which will make a real difference to our current and future members for years to come!

Getting ready for the ball netting and new gate

Athletic getting used and first match incoming...⚽️

We will be having an 'official opening day' in the near future but in the meantime we have started training on there and on March 4th our under 15s will play the first competetive match on the new pitch since 2016!!

We are so excited to finally be using the facility and can't wait for our players to start settling into their new home!

Our under 14s first training session on The Athletic Feb 2023

There is still plenty of things that need to be done (I think that will be the case forever 🙈) and we will be busy over the next week getting it ready for the match next Saturday!⚽️

We are so grateful for all the help we have had to date off so many kind people, we wouldn't be where we are without you all!

Thanks for reading, KJ ⚽️💙

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