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Leaders ready for perfect double act
11:40am Friday 27th September 2013 in News
SAVE Malvern Town FC consortium leaders Chris Pinder and Ted Grizzell are, by their own admission “probably the youngest football club owners in the country”.
But they believe their respective business and footballing backgrounds – not to mention a healthy dose of ambition and enthusiasm – make them the perfect double-act to revive Malvern Town’s flagging fortunes.
They spoke to your Malvern Gazette about their plans for transforming the club’s fortunes and establishing it as the “pinnacle” of local football.
While there are plans set out to improve almost every aspect of the club, both on-pitch and off, “rebooting” the club is going to take time.
“It is not going to be a transformation that happens overnight,” said Mr Pinder.
An immediate priority will be making improvements to the ageing stadium in Langland Avenue.
“The first 90 days or so will be about refreshing the club and re-branding its identity,” he explained.
“We will look at a little re-boot of the Langland Stadium; not major investment but certainly a cosmetic spruce-up.
“There are also other, simple things like furnishing the squad with new playing gear and tracksuits. All of these will make a difference and all of these we can do very quickly.”
He said efforts will focus on injecting “more professionalism” into the club – making it more attractive to players, supporters and commercial sponsors.
Mr Grizzell, 23, has grown up in Malvern and does not feel the club instills the feeling of pride in residents that it could.
“We want to re-establish the club back as the target that local players should have in terms of football,”
he said. “It should be the pinnacle. We are not talking about a Premier League club but when you look back through the years there was a real sense of pride around playing for Malvern Town which I think has somewhat been lost.
“I want there to be eightyear-olds proudly walking around in Malvern Town shirts.”
Surviving the season in the Premier Division of the West Midlands League is the initial on-pitch priority for the new owners.
But it is not merely survival they are targeting.
With extra investment in the playing squad and the possible re-instatement of junior pitches, sights are set firmly upwards.
“For 2014/15 our number one ambition is to get promotion to the Midland Alliance,” said Mr Pinder.
“I think that any owners that didn’t have the ambition of rising through the ranks of English football would be very strange.”
But alongside that competitive spirit they want to establish the club at the heart of the community.
“I have a young daughter and growing up I would like her to have a club she feels she can be involved with,” said Mr Pinder. “We see a real community hub which, in football terms, I don’t think Malvern really has at the moment.
“We want to spruce up the social club and bar facilities and make it a more welcoming place for family and friends to go down on a Saturday afternoon and enjoy a game of football.”
Mr Grizzell wants to establish a “footballing DNA” for the club, with a “forward-thinking mentality” and a culture of playing the ball out from the back running through the age groups. He believes the club can work with the existing strong network of children’s teams in the area to offer a development scheme.
Malvern Town has long been associated with a possible move away from Langland Stadium. And that is something that will remain on the cards.
“It is an ambition but anything like that is going to take time to implement,” said Mr Pinder. “I don’t feel it is as essential for the club’s survival as it has been pitched before.
“There are a lot of good things going for the current location, with the proximity to the town and the sheer number of chimney pots around it.”
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