EXCITING plans to make some radical changes to Trowbridge Town’s Woodmarsh ground have been unveiled by the football club’s new chairman.

Andy Meaden, who has been involved with the club in some capacity since 1972, was elected chairman at an extraordinary general meeting on January 29.

One of his main goals is to help propel the club’s first team to promotion from the Wiltshire Senior League Premier Division to the Toolstation Western League One.

Wiltshire Times: Andy Meaden, chairman of Trowbridge Town FCAndy Meaden, chairman of Trowbridge Town FC (Image: Trowbridge Town FC)

He said: "The first six weeks in the role has made me realise that this club has a bright future.

“I see it as my role to bring everyone together to create a united club where the seven or eight-year-old when he first joins knows he has a club to see him through his youth days to adulthood.”

He intends to take the club back up the non-league pyramid by making some radical changes to the Woodmarsh ground just off the A363 Bradley Road.

A Justgiving fundraiser launched on February 28 with a £1,500 target has already raised more than £2,250 and the target has since been increased to £2,500.

The club has received a further £2,000 in donations, including a £1,500 donation from one supporter who wishes to remain anonymous.

The funds will be put towards refurbing the dressing rooms and install a 50-seater stand on the site of the current halfway line structure.

Wiltshire Times: The Trowbridge Town FC stand. Photo: Trevor Porter 69693The Trowbridge Town FC stand. Photo: Trevor Porter 69693 (Image: Trevor Porter)

“I’ve already looked into trying to fit seats into what we already have,” said Mr Meaden, who was a Wiltshire Football Association referee for 22 years.

“If we are to be serious contenders for promotion next season this work needs to be done over the summer.

“Whilst there are some funds available to do this work, and some materials and labour come at cost, we still need to find a four-figure sum to supplement any grants for which we are eligible.”

Mr Meaden hopes the improvements will satisfy the administrators of the Toolstation Western League One so that Trowbridge Town can gain promotion next season.

He said “The bottom line is that if we want to see a higher standard of football at Woodmarsh in the near future, then we have to make sure we have the facilities to match their grading requirements.”

The club’s first team are riding high at the top of the Wiltshire Senior League Premier Division with 59 points, having played 22 games and won 19, with only two games drawn and one game lost.

“We want to see the club back playing at Step 6 football (Western League/Hellenic League/Wessex League) within the next 18 months.

“Woodmarsh needs updating, and that work needs to start now. Our ultimate target is floodlights and a seated stand within the next 12 months.”

But the collapse of recent talks between the Toolstation Western League and the South West Peninsula League has “put paid” to any chance Trowbridge Town had of being offered promotion this season, Mr Meaden says.

“We are the only major town in the Wiltshire Senior League with a ground that lacks floodlights,” he said. “There has not been a floodlit youth football team in Trowbridge since 1997. It’s time to put that right."

Another project resulting from the ground grading recommendations from the TWL inspection last August was to overhaul the club’s 25-year-old changing rooms.

“Basically, the floor in places has rotted away and needs replacing. The shower heads need servicing or replacing and all the ‘wet’ areas need re-waterproofing,” he said.

The club plans to apply to Wiltshire Council for planning permission to install the floodlights and is hoping to gain grants for the improvements, with work on the dressing rooms scheduled to start in May.