Finding a ‘stable’ home venue is ‘number one concern’ for Portsmouth Women

Portsmouth Women are exploring a number of options as they seek to find a home for the upcoming season.

Sunday, 9th August 2020, 4:40 pm
Pompey Woman in action against Watford at Baffins Milton last season. The club are now exploring other options for a home ground in 2020/21. Picture: Jordan Hampton

Manager Jay Sadler revealed the club's board have been in discussions regarding where they will be based for the 2020/21 campaign.

Pompey have played home fixtures at Baffins Milton Rovers FC since the start of 2018/19.

But Sadler's side had nine scheduled home fixtures called off last term because of ongoing pitch problems at The PMC Stadium.

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They didn’t play a single game at that venue from the end of September onwards.

The situation got so bad they were forced to play a National League Cup quarter-final against Southampton at Gosport Borough's Privett Park home.

Meanwhile, the Blues met Bedhampton in a Portsmouth Senior Cup clash on a 3G pitch at their Furze Lane training base.

Gosport, the Hawks’ new 3G surface at Westleigh Park and US Portsmouth's Victory Stadium are all potential options.

‘There are ongoing discussions between our board and the main club about resolving that (ground for next season),' revealed Sadler.

‘That was always going to be the number one concern, trying to find a stable home venue where we could get our games on.

‘We understand the issue with Baffins last season was unprecedented - kind of like Covid in a way.

‘It was crazy for us and Baffins.

‘We’re still discussing the alternative venues to make sure we’ve got something set and 'Even though we had several issues last season, what Baffins have done for us has been fantastic.

‘But I think there are discussions about the possibility of other venues and what else is there within our remit to enable us to build a fanbase, have consistent games but not take it too far from Portsmouth.‘

‘I know there have been several discussions with other parties, which is quite exciting, but right now we’re still awaiting news.'

Work is set to completed on the Hawks’ artificial pitch by early October and Sadler insists that development could be of interest to a lot of clubs.

Pompey train on an artificial surface at Furze Lane and the Blues boss feels it could suit his side.

'When I saw that it was quite exciting (Hawks getting a 3G pitch),' Sadler added.

‘I know that’s probably pricked a lot of people’s ears.

‘We’ve played there before and they were fantastic with us.

‘Obviously, it came to a bit of an end when the rain hit it over Christmas a few years back.

'But, for sure, that could be another option.

‘Gosport we also used last season with Iain McInnes coming to our help.

‘The Victory Stadium at US Portsmouth is another as well, there are so many options it’s just about finding the right one.

'For us as a club, we’ve got to start thinking a little bit more about ourselves.

‘We can offer a lot to a club if we can share, but we need to get something that’s going to help us play consistently, build up our fanbase and reach our ambitions of becoming a Championship club.

‘Ultimately, that’s what we need to be doing - winning games, fighting at the top of the league and competing with the best teams in the country.'