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Annagh United praise supporters’ clean up efforts ahead of planned pitch re-opening

"We have missed our home pitch and we only now realise how fortunate we all are to have this fantastic club and facility for our kids."

A Portadown football team has praised the efforts of their supporters after a call for volunteers to help clean their grounds following flood damage was responded to by over 100 people.

Annagh United FC, who are based in the Tandragee Road area of the town,suffered the devastating impact of this month’s floods, which saw their pitch “absolutely flooded” and their kids’ Portakabin “completely destroyed”.

The club made a plea on social media for volunteers to help with the clean up effort ahead of a planned re-opening of the pitch this week.

The request followed a statement released by the club last week which said that to not use the grounds in the long or short term going forward would be “unsustainable”.

Thankfully, the call was well and truly heeded and over 100 people turned up to the club’s grounds yesterday (Sunday) to help do what they could to restore the facilities.

Writing on social media yesterday evening, Annagh United FC said: “So proud of our club today.  The response from everyone was outstanding, over 100 members arrived to clean up the facilities after the recent flooding. We had people on power washers, leaf blowers, buckets, sponges and brushes all making sure our facilities are ready for the final inspection tomorrow.

“The families came from as far as Augher to help and the satisfaction we all got to see our club open again was fantastic. To hear how much the Annagh means to everyone and how they missed using the club facilities made the day so rewarding.”

Annagh United Youth Academy recounted a conversation with a parent on the day, who said: “We have missed our home pitch and we only now realise how fortunate we all are to have this fantastic club and facility for our kids.”

The Youth Academy added: “Thank you to all our members for volunteering today, it was a great achievement and we all got great satisfaction in helping.”

On Thursday (November 9), the club had released a statement outlining an update on the use of the facilities, with the hope that the grounds would be re-opened this week.

It read: “We now have a plan in place to return to the BMG Arena. Following numerous meetings with insurers, specialist sub-contractors Haffey Sports Grounds and club members we have agreed the priority is to return to using the pitch as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, our insurance cover will not replace the 3G surface, leaving us to progress for now with a temporary fix.

“Thanks to the prompt response from Jack and the team at Haffey Sports Grounds, this work will start immediately and we hope to re-open the pitch next week pending approval from the relevant parties. This is a short-term solution to allow Annagh United Football Club and all reliant user groups to continue playing sport and importantly enables the club to survive financially.

“Once the facilities are reopened our priority again will switch to replacing the 3G surface as quickly as possible.

The statement however, noted that the club required a “considerable amount of work and support” from all stakeholders in the club.

It continued: “It is important to emphasise that it is simply unsustainable for Annagh United Football Club not to use the BMG Arena either in the short or long term. We have progressed this temporary measure to ensure that Annagh United Football Club survive.”

Read more: Portadown club Annagh United ‘working hard’ to deal with aftermath of devastating flood

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