Jon Hale, the chairman of Hereford Football Club, cannot wait for the moment the turnstiles at Edgar Street are opened again.
The club have earmarked a pre-season friendly against FC United of Manchester on Saturday, 11 July as their opener at the revitalised stadium.
However, a plethora of contractors and volunteers have been busy inside the ground in recent weeks in a frantic effort to return the ground to full use. It has been a tight time frame, but Hale believes everything is on schedule.
“We are very confident of getting the ground ready for the first game against FC United of Manchester.
“We have got a lot of work to do, and thanks to the contractors, and our volunteers, we will get there.
“Everybody is driven to get us over the line, to get that safety certificate, so we can pack the ground out for the 11th of July.
“The safety certificate is the main hurdle, with lots of aspects to it. There are many criteria that we have to meet, and we’re effectively ticking them off as we go.
“There are still some electrical jobs that need doing, and with the contractors around Edgar Street there’s been a real buzz about the place.
“Everything they are doing is all geared towards getting that ground ready by the end of June.
“In fact we anticipate the ground will be in a better condition than it was 10, or 20 years ago.”
Hale continues to emphasise Hereford FC must operate on a sustainable basis, but is not fazed by the high expectation level amongst the supporters.
“As a board of directors it’s fantastic to hear Peter Beadle and Matt Bishop talking ambitiously.
“We want that from our management team. Of course we have to be guarded, and we will continue to stress the importance of sustainability, and budgetary constraints will be set. The trust the supporters have in us is based on the fact that we are going to do this the right way.
“Our ambitions are all part of our commercial plan. We all want promotion, and as quickly as possible but it might not happen immediately. However, I think the fans are embracing the club for what it is and hopefully we will all move forward together.”
The community have rallied to the cause since Hereford FC took over the lease to the Edgar Street, a fact the Bulls’ chairman was quick to acknowledge.
“It is very important to recognise that the local community have got behind us. Indeed, their support right from the moment when we applied to the Council for the lease has been fantastic. The level of community input has been great. Local businesses and supporters wanted our football club back at Edgar Street, and that’s what we’ve got. I can’t wait to move it all on now.”
“I think when we open the turnstiles for the very first time it will be an emotional moment. I so want the supporters to get back in there, and let’s hope for a nice sunny day, but the 11th of July will be a massive day for the football club, the community and the supporters.
“I’m sure some tears of joy will be seen around Edgar Street – that’s for sure.
“It’s the platform from which we move on and it’s going to be a really great day.”