BINFIELD Football Club’s role in the community has been highly praised by politician Adam Afriyie, writes Dave Wright.

The Member of Parliament for the Windsor constituency, which includes Binfield, officially opened the club’s new facility at Hill Farm Lane on Saturday.

The single-storey building adjacent to the existing clubhouse provides home and away changing rooms containing showers and toilet facilities, along with two changing rooms for male and female match officials, plus a players’ treatment room.

The old clubhouse has also been extended to include new toilets, disabled facilities, a kitchen and boardroom.

Club vice-chairman Andy Cotton commented: “It transforms the facilities here, enabling us to better serve our playing and social members, supporters and visitors.

“Binfield FC is a true ‘not for profit’ community football club whose core ambition is to provide first-class football facilities for all, and we are building a better football club which the community can be proud of.”

Afriyie declared: “I am impressed with how they got the project built on time and within budget – that is exceptional.

“But the most remarkable thing about this club is it is right at the heart of the community, enabling parents to meet up, talk to each other or have a drink while watching their kids train and play.

“I really appreciate being here because Westminster politics can be quite brutal and this is really the delightful part of being an MP, where you see a community evolving and a football club making their way, so it is a really great pleasure for me to be here for the opening.”

Afriyie continued: “The club is at Step 5, but I am pretty sure the energy here could take them up to Step 4 in the future and, if there is anything I can do to support the club I would be very happy to do so.

“I congratulate all the people involved in making this project possible.”

Binfield chairman Bob Bacon said: “This (facility) is important for the club for several reasons. It shows the club and the local community our intent. We strive to provide a safe place for people of all abilities to enjoy their football.

“Our vision is clear, our passion is to give our many footballing players and local community members a collective facility which is safe, appropriate and sustainable.

“We have a policy of continual improvement and we work hard to ensure the entire club is suitable for all.”

He revealed there are plans afoot for further development, but added: “At this stage, we want to enjoy the new facility as it is and make the best of it, not just for the football club, but the community of the village and surrounding area.”

The Hellenic League club were able to build the new facility thanks to funding from the FA, Football Foundation, Bracknell Forest Borough Council and Binfield Parish Council, in all the grants totalling more than £315,000.

Bracknell Forest Borough Council also extended the lease of the ground for the club, which is now in their 125th season.

In addition to their local Member of Parliament, guests at Saturday’s official opening included representatives from contractors JevPlan Ltd, Able Contracts and Morris & Blunt, as well as Binfield Parish Council, Berks & Bucks FA and East Berks Football League.