Sold out event another success and read one players account of his day
The annual chance for Shrewsbury Town supporters and their invited guests to play on the Greenhous Meadow pitch at the end of the season once again proved to be an outstanding success.
A number of keen local footballers jumped at the chance to pull on their boots and sample the Meadow experience.
"Twelve games were played over three days and everyone had a great time," said Andrew Tretton, commercial sales executive at the Greenhous Meadow.
"Thanks to everyone for their support and, having seen the games, there was also a fair bit of quality on show!"
One of the players who took part, Mark Tanner
, contacted the club with his account of his Greenhous Meadow experience which we reproduce here as a reflection of the enjoyment Play on the Pitch provides...
‘We don’t know what we’re doing’ is the title of an excellent book by broadcaster Adrian Chiles which I was reading on my way up to Shrewsbury on Friday, May 9.
This got me thinking why we follow our football clubs up and down the country week in week out. One reward of such fanatical support is the opportunities only the hard-core fans get. So when there is a chance to play on your home team’s pitch every able bodied fan would jump at the chance.
This brings me to why I was travelling to Shrewsbury on a day off from work. It was of course the chance to play on a league club’s pitch thanks to a message from an old university friend whose team was short.
‘Play on the Meadow’ is a scheme run by Shrewsbury Town FC at the end of each season that is open to local teams to hire out the first team stadium, complete with full home and away kits. It allows the fans of the club to recreate their favourite player’s goals, feel how a professional football feels and simply take in the grandeur of the day.
A short taxi ride took us to the Greenhous Meadow and we were greeted by a smartly dressed club official who was very polite. We then met the rest of the team, The Saddlers, with the bench made up of former ATFC Lions players.
Everyone was in good spirits and we entered the changing rooms with 16 full kits laid out just how it would have been for a league game. Then we entered the pitch through the players’ tunnel.
Now this is where it hit home that we were playing on a Football League club's pitch as it was in immaculate condition. It was freshly rolled after England’s Women’s team played on it the night before.
The PA played the Champion’s League music as we came out for the game and had our line up. Every now and then in the game there was noise from a crowd, not that you couldn’t hear the odd shout from the 60 strong crowd, to add to the occasion and celebration music for when a goal was scored.
The game itself finished up 3-3, with the obligatory penalty shootout, which went against us. Both teams had one dominant half each and were very evenly matched.
Shrewsbury Town also had first aiders on hand (thankfully not needed) and stewards on site to help get the balls back and keep an eye on any over zealous parents. There were plenty of pictures being taken and one or two of the coaching staff/former players enjoyed the game too.
The professionalism of the club made it very memorable for the local lads who support the club and for the Lions that travelled, so a big thank you must go to the staff of the club for the day, I’m sure everyone is looking forward to next year!