A new £3 million five a side football complex is hoping to score success with sports fans of all ages after kicking off in Doncaster.
The Goals Soccer Centre proved a weekend winner with scores of footy fans packing into the new all-weather centre for an open day to officially mark unveiling of the global chain’s first ever branch in the town.
Children and adults enjoyed the warm spring sunshine to take part in a series of football games and meet stars from Doncaster Belles as the centre was officially unveiled yesterday.
General manager Simon Williams said: “We are looking forward to welcoming thousands of people from all over Doncaster and beyond over the coming months. I’ve been working at the centre in Sheffield for ten years and we’ve got lots of big plans for what we’re going to do here.”
The centre, which is sitauted on Worcester Avenue, just off Wheatley Hall Road, has been built on the former Crompton Lighting factory and includes ten rubber-based, floodlit pitches, each named after world famous stadiums such as Wembley and the Stade de France.
Each pitch is self-contained - but two pitches have an added attraction - cameras which cam capture the action on the pitch so classic goals, moments of skill and controversial moments can all be replayed and saved for posterity.
Added Simon: “The cameras play back the footage in the bar so people watching can see it. The clips can also be saved to Facebook, so if any player scores a great goal they can show to their mates just how good it was.”
The centre also includes a bar area - which will be used to host children’s parties - and changing facilities and is the 46th complex in the Goals chain with branches across the UK as well as in Los Angeles.
As well as organised leagues, the centre will also host coaching and training sessions for youngsters as well as holiday and summer schools for youngsters to pick up soccer skills.
Work on the building got under way in January and dozens of football fans turned out for Sunday’s opening which included players from Doncaster Belles, fun and games, face painting and football sessions.
Added Simon: “The pitches are the best in Doncaster and we are the biggest and best five a side football centre in the town. The surfaces are the closest thing you can get to grass.”
The centre will also host a charity tournament featuring teams from Doncaster and Bassetlaw Health Trust on May 10 while five a side leagues for teams from across Doncaster are set to get under way in the coming weeks.
Players will also be able to use a unique phone app that allows them to send out alerts to players on a registered database to step in and play on an ad hoc basis so matches don’t have to be called off at the last minute if teams don’t have enough participants.
Said Simon: “We have already had a fantastic response from people. I think we are going to be very busy over the coming weeks.”
The centre is open from 10am to 11pm seven days a week.
More details at http://www.goalsfootball.co.uk/