Vice-chairman Gary Bailey says Portland United’s purchase of their home ground provides an opportunity for those involved with the club to create a legacy for generations to come, writes Tom Howe.

The club launched a major fundraising campaign to purchase Grove Corner – known as the Weyline Stadium for sponsorship reasons – from Crown Estate with support arriving from multiple sources, including local charitable causes Court Leet and Southwell Street Fayre.
“It is something that we feel very strongly about,” he said. “It is a huge purchase and it took a lot of hard work and fundraising. Our club president, Dave Camp, led the campaign and set up a ‘buy a square of the pitch’ initiative that was very well taken up.
“We had very generous donations and are very grateful to everyone who has contributed and allowed us to secure the ground. It means that the ground and the surrounding area is there for sports use for generations to come.
“There are people at the club, like our chairman Robin Satherley and Dave Camp, who have been at the club for years. They played a massive part in securing the ground and it is a real legacy for them to be able to leave behind.”
Further welcome news arrived this week with the hiring of former Dorchester Town boss Callum Brooks as first team manager, following the resignation of Brendon King after two seasons in charge of the Wessex League Premier Division club.
“We are delighted to have acquired the services of Callum and the calibre that he brings. He knows the level really well and has been involved higher for many seasons. We were really flattered by the quality of applicants we had but right from the start it seemed a good fit for ourselves and Callum. We share the same visions and ambitions for the club.
“Last season was one of ups and downs really. We had a slow start in the league but that was offset with a decent FA Cup run. Did we underachieve? It is difficult to say. We had a few youngsters in the side and there was a bit of disruption with availability which didn’t help.
“Looking back, would we have liked to have been a bit higher in the league? Of course we would but it is what it is. Going forward, when we are able to get going, we are not setting any unreasonable targets because we just don’t know where we are going to be recruitment wise, budget wise or anything. The target is to get out there and make sure we are progressing. That is something Callum is firmly committed to delivering.”
Sat 11th when the curtain came down on the 2019-20 campaign, Portland, like countless other clubs up and down the country, are counting the cost of the coronavirus crisis.
In an attempt to stem its financial impact, they are offering supporters the opportunity of a lifetime membership which will include your name being etched on a plaque displayed in the clubhouse, as well as complimentary tickets for all league games.
The cost of the membership will be £1,000 and can be paid either by cash, via a cheque made payable to ‘PUFC Fundraising Account’ or by bank transfer.
For further information, contact club president Dave Camp on 01305 861291 or 07975 931199.

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.