Gunnersbury Park is going top of the league when it comes to football facilities with the opening in the new year of two top level football pitches to local community groups and clubs.
The facilities consist of two top-level, floodlit 3G artificial pitches, as well as grass pitches, also suitable for rugby and cricket. The soon-to-be-completed development will also include an eight-team changing pavilion; a gym; a studio; and a sports hall, ideal for Futsal.
Ex-footballer Ryan Peters used to play for Brentford and is now head of its under-19 BTEC programme, which is now using the pitches at Gunnersbury for coaching. You can hear more of Ryan’s thoughts on the new facilities in the video above, when Ealing News Extra visited one of The Bee’s training sessions at Gunnersbury Park earlier this year.
He explains: “The idea is that we are going to train here at Gunnersbury Park every day, with a match programme on a Wednesday. We will try and tailor the sessions, which will be in the morning, afternoon or evening and there will also be lessons so it will be pretty full-on for these boys.”
Ryan is a big fan of the new facilities at Gunnersbury and thinks it can make a big difference to the young people who are benefitting from them as part of the regular coaching offered by the programme.
He says: “The facilities are amazing, once everything is done and dusted everything we need will be available right here – it’s not just the pitches, when the building is completed we will have our offices here too.
“There are a number of local schools with pupils involved with the programme and all together its about 70 young people, so they will be benefiting directly from the new facilities.
As a successful former professional footballer himself, Ryan is aware of how important the sport can be to young people. He continues: “At a young age I wouldn’t necessarily say I was academic, but I found a pathway through football with a programme like this and it helped me as I became a professional footballer.
“I see something in these boys that is quite similar – many are academic as well but to be able to use sport as a platform here is really important.”
These new facilities are part of a multi-million-pound sports hub on its way to Gunnersbury Park, which is managed jointly by Ealing and Hounslow Councils. It will not only offer regular football, but tennis, cricket, gym activities – and even angling.
Completion is due in the early part of next year, so it won’t be long before local people will be able to get involved with the wealth of activities soon to be on offer.