Alfreton Town FC is a family-run, non-league football club that has been the heartbeat of the community for over 60 years.
We, along with our loyal supporters are immensely proud of the playing surface at the Impact Arena and the club has received plenty of praise for its quality, with the likes of Nottingham Forest choosing it as a home venue for their academy teams and used in the past by the FA for competitions such as the women's FA cup semi-finals.
We would ordinarily have the funds available to undergo the renovation and maintenance but the club lost the majority of its natural income during the 20/21 season and we face having to cut corners which we would prefer not to do as it will have a negative impact on the playing surface and quality of the stadium and this is why we are asking where possible for people to donate and help us ahead of the forthcoming 21/22 season.
We want to give something back to the community and have decided to gift a match ticket to a key worker for every £100 worth of donations that are achieved. If we can reach our target of £15k then we will be giving away 150 tickets to those who have been on the frontline during the pandemic in some shape or form.
The club understands it has been a difficult time for everyone over the last year and any donation small or large will be greatly appreciated.
Alfreton Town FC has a fantastic reputation of developing players and managers who have gone on to achieve a professional career within the game and the club have received a tremendously positive reaction to this crowdfunding campaign with testimonials (see further below) from the likes of ex-premier league manager, Chris Wilder, ex-premier league player, Ryan France as well as current EFL Championship player Aden Flint, along with many other stars past and present.
Head groundsman, Rob Brooks details the importance of the renovation and maintenance " An annual renovation needs to take place to keep the surface looking its best and to help improve the drainage in the top surface which if left untreated will cause postponements through the winter months, which will have a financial impact on the club.
We are hoping to raise funds to scarify the pitch to remove thatch build-up in the upper profile as this retains water. Over-seed with ryegrass which is deep rooting and hard-wearing. Verti-Drain and top dress with sand to incorporate into the top profile and break the surface up with a blec multivator which alleviates compaction.
We also use various chemicals and fertilizers at a substantial cost during the season to keep the pitch looking its best but also keeping the sward of the grass as strong as possible.
We are also having to invest in new fencing for the perimeter of the arena as the existing fence is becoming rotten and proving far too easy for vandals to break in and cause damage which we have seen in recent weeks"
Chris Wilder, ex-manager of the club and former premier league manager with Sheffield United "Alfreton Town is a tremendously well-run football club, they gave me the chance to prove myself as a manager and for that, I am eternally grateful, I loved my time there and working for the football club in a fabulously successful period.
The chairman, Wayne is a proper football man and to be honest, is the best Chairman I have ever had the pleasure of working for. Let's hope the football community gets on board with their crowdfunding campaign and helps a non-league club raise some much-needed funds after a difficult year"
Ryan France, who played under Chris Wilder at ATFC and went on to sign for Hull City said" As an aspiring young footballer, like most, wanting to become a professional footballer, to have those dreams what felt like at the time, taken away from me at the age of 16 when I was released from Sheffield Wednesday, was a bitter pill to swallow. The next two years saw me playing with pals and mostly drifting. Not really going anywhere, I was given the opportunity to join Alfreton under the management of Jason Maybury after playing in a 5-a-side tournament for a family friend's business – Copytec, and I never looked back.
I was kicked from pillar to post but the team, the management, the board, and the fans always had my back. I felt at home and that’s why I flourished. I later played for Chris Wilder and then David Lloyd and enjoyed some great success.
I’ve been asked many times how good it was to be a professional footballer but those days at Alfreton were second to none. They help set me up for the professional game and I continued with two further consecutive promotions after the two with Alfreton during seasons 2001/02 and 2002/03. Winning became a habit.
None of this would have been achieved without the great Wayne Bradley. A truly brilliant man who supported me on my journey and backed every decision I made, not only whilst at Alfreton but thereafter too.
I will always have a place in my heart for ‘The Reds’ and it will always feel like home to me. Without them, my football journey would certainly have ended before it got going!
Ex Professional, Carl Bradshaw, finished his career with ATFC and had this to say "After having 19 years in professional football, I was glad to be given the opportunity to play at Alfreton Town, where we had plenty of ups and not many downs. We had a fantastic manager and a brilliant set of lads, the board of directors and chairman were very supportive and the fans with total dedication and passion for the club. It was an honor to end my career at ATFC with lots of memorable memories"
Aden Flint, who achieved promotion to the Conference Premier with the reds and is now at EFL Championship club, Cardiff City said "I made over 100 appearances for Alfreton and during my time there we won the conference north division achieving promotion to the premier which is the highest level the club has ever played at.
I also played for the England C team whilst at the club and they helped me achieve a dream move into the football league. Alfreton Town FC has a special place in my heart and I am immensely proud to be a part of the history of this great family-run, community-focused football club.
I'm sure they must have had a tough time of it this last year, as have all non-league clubs and so I do hope that they are able to raise the funds needed to renovate and maintain the pitch because, in my opinion, it is one of the best playing surfaces in non-league football.
Nicky Law, who managed the championship-winning side and now with Burnley FC, had this to say "We have all found the last 14 months since the pandemic arrived a very tough time, as we are all involved in sport or in our case football it has been particularly tough for the non-elite clubs, in other words, those outside the premier league elite who do not receive millions of pounds of funding each year.
For the clubs lower down the pyramid and in particular the non-league ones I have found it a real shame that the majority are now at the point of no return, even the ones who have had chairman/boards that have funded them over so many years, who for them it has been a massive part of theirs and their families lives for decades it is a travesty.
I was involved in the non-league for 12 years plus and over that time witnessed 1st hand how much it means to be involved in your local club, as a manager, director, player, and supporter, and now is the time to come together more than ever and support your club.
At Alfreton, I witnessed going to the likes of Wrexham and the supporters being outnumbered by 6 to 1 and Luton by probably 20 to 1 but all you ever heard was the vocal support of the great supporters of Alfreton town FC, you were the best hardcore supporters anywhere come rain or shine, defeat, or victory you were there. Therefore I know how much the survival of your club and such a great non-league club means to all involved, even though times are challenging all I would say is now is the time to dig in stay strong and support our club in any small way you can and in time we will come out the other side, hopefully, stronger for it.
Various players who played under Nicky Law, such as Nathan Arnold, Liam Hearn, Paul Clayton and Josh Law contacted the club to back the campaign.
Nathan Arnold "Hi all, This is an open call for funding to be raised from the general public to help support crowdfunding which will help gain traction to raise resources needed for pitch renovations and stadium maintenance at Alfreton Town Football Club.
Alfreton Town are inviting people to merge together in these unprecedented times. It has called for communities to draw on unity and togetherness to help support the predicament local organisations find themselves in as a consequence of the pandemic.
Alfreton Town has produced some fantastic players over the years that have gone on to have successful careers in football. I was fortunate enough to spend 3 seasons at Alfreton where we achieved promotion as conference north champions in my first season. Alfreton Town assisted my career greatly. From my time living in Alfreton during this period one thing that was noticeable was the association the football club had with its people. In the football world, Alfreton Town are a very reputable football club that has made a wonderful contribution to non-league football. Thank you in advance for your continued support.
Liam Hearn "At the age of 23 Alfreton Town approached me about signing, little did I know at the time that this would be the turning point in my life. I enjoyed 3 fantastic seasons with winning the Conference North being the pinnacle achievement.
The fans though are what make the club. The songs they sang and the support they offered was incredible for me personally. The harmony within the board room and the support for the players helped create a stable and structured environment.
I’d also like to mention Wayne Bradley for the support he gave me on this journey, I really appreciated his help and guidance. I hope to one day be back with the club in some capacity helping to develop players and create a stable platform for the club to build on. With your help too I know we can help the club get back to the heights we saw a few years back. The world has been challenging for many, although football and togetherness can help bring back happiness to all of us football fans.
Josh Law "Alfreton town will always be in my heart, it has played a huge role in my life and career, I went as a young 18-year-old boy and left a man, it’s a community club which is backed by a fantastic chairman and a loyal core fan base, there support never waivers and comes together as one for their club through all times, thick and thin.
Paul Clayton "My time at Alfreton Town FC will hold nothing but good memories for me personally. From the fans to the managers from the top to the bottom it was one big family. The ups and downs, the promotion, the cup runs, great memories. Now into the management side of the game, I know those experiences I have gained through my time at Alfreton Town will stand me in good stead for the future.
Finally, the club heard from current manager, Billy Heath and club captain, Dan Bradley.
Billy Heath, ATFC Manager "When I came to the club I knew it was a well-run club, I've played for Alfreton and Wayne was the Chairman then and I knew from my time here as a player it was a well-established club. Now as the manager I've been able to see first-hand just how well the club operates and conducts itself. The supporters never fail to get behind the team and even when results are not going our way they rarely turn on the team, I know it has been a tough year or so for everyone but hopefully the community of Alfreton and football fans, in general, will be able to get behind this campaign and help maintain this fantastic pitch that we have at the Impact Arena.
Captain, Dan Bradley concluded the testimonials by saying "To any fans who can donate to the crowdfunding campaign for the pitch maintenance please do, for us as players it makes such a difference turning up on a Saturday having rob (Head Groundsman) work his magic. But he can only work with what he has got. Iv always made it quite clear for a large part of my career Alfreton has felt like “home”, which is mostly down to the community and spirit around the place. I know the last few years have had an impact on everybody financially but any help will be appreciated.
All at Alfreton Town FC would like to thank players and managers, past and present for their kind words and support of this crowdfunding campaign.