IF SUCCESS is to be completed on the pitch for Stansted this season, improvements will have to made off it, according to club chairman Terry Shoebridge.

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The Essex Senior highfliers, and last years’ champions, look set for honours again this time around as they continue to compete strongly in the FA Vase and are currently unbeaten in the league.

However, a lack of facilities, that already ruled them out of promotion last season, continue with deadlines fast approaching for critical improvements to please FA officials.

Mr Shoebridge is concerned that if vital money is not invested, or a list of other viable options is not explored, the club could be looking at another championship without promotion.

“If we had a playing surface like our neighbours Elsenham we would be ok in that regard but our difficulties go much deeper than the pitch.

“We are approaching an end of December deadline to have an extra turnstile installed and if we don’t get things like that in place we could end up struggling to stay where we are as a club, let alone go up into the Ryman league.

“Because we share facilities with the town’s cricket club we cannot put the necessary fencing up either. The FA expect a lot and financially many of the things are currently out of our reach.”

Sharing facilities is now high on the Stansted chairman’s agenda, if Hargrave Park cannot be updated so that the club can reach its potential.

“We may start talking to Bishop Stortford and Saffron Walden and look at a ground share,” he said. “It might be the only way to improve things.

“Our current situation just means that at some point the players and manager will get fed up of not being able to climb the football ladder – which they deserve to do.

“We cannot have that, so if we are not going to put new facilities in, we have to share or build somewhere completely from scratch.”

Stansted have already had four or five games cancelled because of weather, when league rivals have still played, backlog of fixtures could mean a busy end to the season.

But on the football side of things Mr Shoebridge could not be happier with the club, he praised manager Terry Spillane, his coaching staff, and his players for some fantastic performances.

“This is one of the best sides in the club’s history,” he added. “We all hope that our winning ways continue into 2011.”

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