New stadium plans ‘will go a long way’ to helping St Albans City reach the next level says Ian Allinson

PUBLISHED: 13:00 29 March 2018

Ian Allinson believes the crowds could flock to Noke Lane if St Albans City's new ground is granted planning permission. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Ian Allinson believes the crowds could flock to Noke Lane if St Albans City's new ground is granted planning permission. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Robert Walkley

Ian Allinson believes that the plans for St Albans City’s new stadium will be a massive positive and help the club compete at a higher level.

An artist's impression of St Albans City Football Club's new Noke Lane Community Stadium and housing.An artist's impression of St Albans City Football Club's new Noke Lane Community Stadium and housing.

The Saints boss has taken the team from a relegation dogfight when he arrived three years ago to fourth in the table this term and challenging for a place in the Vanarama National League next.

But should the ambitious plans come to fruition, he believes the team itself will see an obvious benefit.

He said: “It’s got to be a positive because the club has been crying out for it for a long time.

“It will go a long way in bringing players to the club as well as helping secure players we’ve already got as they will see there is a plan in place.

“It will help in terms of training facilities. We currently train at Nicholas Breakspear and the University of Hertfordshire which has its difficulties in how we plan and prepare for games.

“It will allow us to reach a better standard and a better level and should help us compete with other clubs around us.

“We’ve got a big fan base as we have already seen from some of the crowds this season.

“But could it be bigger? Do we lose fans because of the parking for example? If the facilities are better, that could attract people which will garner more revenue.

“Full credit to the owners if they can pull it off because it will be absolutely magnificent for both the club and the city.”

The City manager can also see instant benefits simply from the release of the plans, as Saints head into the final seven games of the season. He said: “From the players point of view it could give some of them a lift because this is what some of them could be playing at in the future.

“We want to make the play-offs this year, take the club to the next level and maintain that.”

But Allinson also said there would be a pang of sadness when the time comes to leave Clarence Park, with the former Gunner pointing towards his former club as an example.

“Some will feel we should stay at Clarence Park in the same way as Arsenal fans did when they moved to the Emirates.

“It was great from the club’s point of view but some still think of Highbury as home.

“But the club is tired in terms of what we have and it needs a vast amount of investment just to stand still.”

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