THE 1874 COLUMN – A different perspective, by Matt Waters

AS a fan-run and owned football club, one of our main objectives at 1874 was to play our football ‘Back In Northwich,’ something we hadn’t done up until this season.

We saw our first six years being played at the Barton Stadium, ground sharing with Winsford United and this season we have moved to Townfield sharing with our landlords, Barnton.

Since our inception, it was always our aim to play our football in Northwich and as a fan, there’s nothing better than seeing your team playing in their hometown area.

Over the last week, I caught up with 1874 board member Alex Dickinson.

His role focusses around ground development, including our move to Barnton.

He said: “Whilst we were indebted to Winsford United who hosted us for six seasons the opportunity to play in Northwich at the home of Barnton FC was too good to turn down.

“The support we have had from Steve Lloyd the Chairman and the Barnton Committee has been immense.

“It certainly appears that the fans of 1874 enjoy the match day experience at Townfield Lane as we are experiencing some healthy crowds this season at our new home.”

After talks started last summer with Barnton, Dickinson revealed that it was an opportunity that the club could not ignore.

He commented: “It was clear very early on in the discussions that this was a partnership that could work to the benefit of both clubs.

“We, as a club, had no hesitation in agreeing a two-year deal with options to extend.

“We hope to further improve Townfield Lane by developing the far end of the ground although this project is still in its infancy.

“In addition, we are still in discussions with Cheshire FA in relation to the Vision 20/20 project.”

On the issue of the Vision 20/20 project, Dickinson told me that the club are still in constant conversation with the Cheshire FA.

He added: “We are in dialogue with Cheshire FA over the Vision 20/20 project.

“And as I understand it, they (Cheshire FA) are hoping to submit a planning application for the site at Knights Grange soon.

“A statement confirming this will hopefully be released in the next couple of weeks.”

Finally, Alex added that a good relationship between 1874 and Barnton is crucial for success.

“Our relationship with Barnton is key.

“From our initial meeting with Steve Lloyd it was clear that the clubs had the same ethos and could see the benefits of the collaboration.

“This is provided by the tremendous amount of work that went on at Townfield Lane over the summer all with the co-operation of Barnton FC.”

Matt Waters is 1874 Northwich media officer