Frenchay celebrate opening of new nets
FORMER England captain Mike Gatting has officially opened Frenchay's new £25,000 state-of-the-art nets.
Gatting, now managing director of Cricket Partnerships at the England and Wales Cricket Board, cut the ribbon on the two-bay practice area in front of around 100 senior and junior club members as well as local officials.
Frenchay received a grant of £15,000 and an interest-free loan of £2,800 from the England and Wales Cricket Trust towards the project.
South Gloucestershire Council provided £2,100, with the remaining funds being raised by the club and donations.
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Chairman Steve Woodsford said: "We now have 14 youth teams here, including two teams for girls, and are running four senior Saturday sides this season so the new facility will be of great benefit to our members.
"It's been about two years since we first began speaking about the need for new nets and having Mike here cutting a ribbon. And I have to pay tribute to Steve Silk, from the Gloucestershire Cricket Board, for helping the project happen."
The new nets will be in use virtually every day of the week. Woodsford added: "This season we have around 150 youth members, who can practise here, and the real hope is that in time many of these youngsters will filter into the senior side of the club.
"That's something that already happens here, and we're an expanding club as seen by the fact that we're now able to put a fourth team on Saturdays."
Frenchay's newly established women's side will also take their turn in the new nets.