Wallace wants stadium to make a statement
STEVENAGE Borough Chairman Phil Wallace says if his team are serious about sending a message in the Football League – then improving the Lamex Stadium must remain high on the list of priorities. Wallace has again called for the support of Stevenage Boroug
STEVENAGE Borough Chairman Phil Wallace says if his team are serious about sending a message in the Football League - then improving the Lamex Stadium must remain high on the list of priorities.
Wallace has again called for the support of Stevenage Borough Council in helping rejuvenate facilities at Broadhall Way, which would hopefully include the construction of a new north stand which would take Boro's capacity up to 10,000.
"The success this season has been massively beneficial for the town," said Wallace.
"But I really hope the council and the town take the opportunity to get behind us and help us kick on now because, while we like our stadium - we think it's ok and it was fantastic for the Conference, it's not a Football League stadium."
You may also want to watch:
Boro's average attendance this season was 2,589 - less than half of the capacity of just over 7,000.
However, there is no doubt of their ability to attract bumper crowds to the ground after sell-out fixtures against Luton Town and Oxford United, and the prospect of playing in Npower League Two next season should definitely see a marked increase in attendances.
- 1 Taser video: Officer's actions which left man with injuries 'deemed appropriate'
- 2 Where in Hertfordshire are the most incidents of weapon possession?
- 3 Walk-in and booster vaccine slots available this week
- 4 Hitchin's Repair Café wants you!
- 5 Singers make positive change by renaming choir
- 6 Annual Pride of Stevenage Awards celebrate our local heroes
- 7 As sewage saga continues, how did our MPs vote?
- 8 Stevenage's annual fireworks display returns on Bonfire Night - November 5
- 9 Multiple cars involved in A1(M) collision
- 10 Serial flasher who 'showed no remorse' jailed
But Wallace believes that in order to supplement the success of Graham Westley's team on the pitch, measures must be taken to ensure the club maintains its upward momentum in years to come.
"When you drive past the ground and you see the concrete panel fence, it's completely different to the likes of Ipswich, Norwich City or MK Dons," he added.
"It's about creating a feel-good factor for everybody and we need to kick on now.
"This is an opportunity for us. This isn't the end of the road - this is only the start of it.
"I'd put up a new north stand that's bigger than the South Stand, and that would be enough.
"It's not just about the capacity, though, it's about making a statement to people. "Instead of having a concrete panel fence, you'd see a fantastic stand. If you drive into Wrexham or Mansfield, you see a good stadium - why can't we do that?"
Despite his quest to improve the stadium, Wallace insists everyone at the club will be doing all they can to keep the good times alive throughout their maiden voyage into the unknown setting of league football when the season kicks off again in August.
Exeter City proved promotion is not beyond the realms of possibility when they finished runners-up in League Two in 2009 after spending only a year in the division after coming up from the Conference.
And even though expectancy levels are bound to be high among Boro fans over the summer, Wallace says the only objective is for everyone to give it their best shot and see what happens.
He added: "We'll go and do the best job we can next season and we'll try to keep as many of the players as we can.
"We're not thinking that we're going to consolidate and we're not thinking we're going to win the league, we'll simply be doing the best we can.
"Exeter did very well when they achieved successive promotions, but that's because they've got good people there. Steve Perryman has done a fantastic job. They've got a good management team and experienced people who know that level of football very well."
Wallace also spoke about Saturday's trip to Wembley to face Barrow in the FA Trophy final.
He believes that, despite Barrow's fifteenth-placed finish, The Bluebirds will certainly give Boro a run for their money.
He said: "I suppose we'll go into it as favourites but that doesn't mean anything.
"You've got to look at what Barrow have done since Christmas. Not only have they got to the trophy final, they did very well in the FA Cup and they've had some fantastic results in the league. If it wasn't for their early season form they would probably have finished a lot higher and we're going to have to be on top of our game if we're going to beat them.