Daniel Gregory’s weekly column: FA should jump at the rugby club’s offer

Scarborough RUFC U-18s v Driffield U-18s is the first floodlit game at Scarborough's new Silveroyd ground.  091342j'in Sport      25/03/09    pic by Andrew Higgins
Scarborough RUFC U-18s v Driffield U-18s is the first floodlit game at Scarborough's new Silveroyd ground. 091342j'in Sport 25/03/09 pic by Andrew Higgins

I’ve been to more local football cup finals than I can remember, and taken in some good grounds, and some less so attractive.

From Bridlington to Stokesley, Pickering to Whitby, Seamer to McCains, I’ve seen them all.

Firstly I’d like to say that the facilities at both Pickering Town’s Mill Lane ground, and Queensgate in Bridlington are very good.

Players like to play finals there and so they should. The difference is the fact they are stadiums rather than fields with changing rooms, and they get the chance to play under lights more often than not.

They have been excellent facilities for the league to use since the sad and bemusing demise of the old Athletic Ground on Seamer Road.

But surely it’s time to get back to Scarborough?

I’ve been badgering the chief executive of Scarborough RUFC to host cup finals up at their £4million Silver Royd base and he’s finally succumbed to the idea.

Not everyone is keen for one reason or another, but most seem really excited by the possibility, and why wouldn’t they be?

The facilities there are second-to-none in Scarborough and isn’t that the main objective here, to get prestige fixtures back into our town?

It’s been a hell of a long time since we had the opportunity to play a football match under lights inside Scarborough and I would welcome the move.

Credit has to go to clubs like Seamer and Thornton Dale for their excellent pitches and for hosting these games, but isn’t the point in a final that they are supposed to be special? Played at a better than average venue and more often than not, under floodlights to make it feel a bit more special?

Clubs shell out loads of money (money that a lot of them don’t have in abundance at the moment) to join these cups at the start of every season.

Why should a team pay to join a cup, turn up and play several rounds and then have their final on a ground they play at several times that season anyway?

Nobody involved in local football is to blame for the fact that the old Athletic Ground was allowed to rot to the point of no return, but now that we have a bit of light at the end of the tunnel we should be grasping it with both hands.

Speaking to local managers, secretaries and players this week showed me that there is a real desire to get finals back into town at a top venue.

The rugby club don’t have to host football games and there is still the issue of the posts being changed, but should we overcome these obstacles, I can’t think of any reason not to have finals there.

Tweet me @mrdanielgregory with your opinon.