Season 2021-22 has been a good year for the Stags, finishing second in the Hampshire Premier League Division 1 and now hopeful of promotion to the senior division of the Hampshire Premier League. That will place them into the eleventh tier of English football, and one division away from Step 6 of the pyramid.
As with all such promotions, however, there is a snag. As Sutton United found when they attained promotion to League Two, a change to their established way of doing things is required. Unlike Sutton, however, it was not a matter of replacing their all-weather playing surface with grass. Whitehill and Bordon FC will need a completely new home.
Existing pitch fails to make the grade
According to the Hampshire FA their existing home is not up to standard, and the club need “a permanent, dedicated home ground which features, among many other things, fixed spectator barriers and hard standing around the pitch, fixed dugouts, and quality clubhouse facilities.”
Whitehill and Bordon FC needs a new home
Currently the club plays at the Bordon and Oakhanger Sports Club, whose facilities are unavailable six months of the year due to use by Headley Cricket Club. As such, they have looked elsewhere to find a new home, in order to achieve their stated ambition of a quick promotion to Step 6 and the Wessex League. The league has stated that the club may stay for one season at BOSC as long as preparations for a suitable ground are underway.
Plans are already in motion to use the Daly Ground at Oakmoor School on Budds Lane in Burdon, formerly home to the Army’s football team.
A football team “the town can be genuinely proud of”
As the club’s co-founder Daniel Zubiena stated, “Our recent derby games have already seen as many 150-200 spectators at our games at The BOSC, so just imagine what this club could become with a dedicated ground with real stands. We want this club to be something the town can be genuinely proud of – fans wearing our team’s shirt with pride and looking forward to attending the games each week.”
The club recently submitted an urgent proposal to East Hampshire District Council and the Hampshire FA to make the Daly Ground its long-term home, and is currently awaiting a response.