In January 2004, 3 local sports clubs were invited to attend a meeting at Dronfield School regarding the future of the school sports fields. AFC Dronfield, Dronfield Town and Dronfield RUFC attended.
The school relocated in July 2004 and the 3 clubs took over the maintenance and administration of the site, operating under the umbrella of the newly formed “Gosforth Fields Sports Association” (GFSA), a registered charity. Under this new regime, the playing fields have been cared for properly, with regular maintenance from quality contractors. Up to this point, the support facilities consisted of porta cabins, crudely joined together & located on the disused tennis courts. The whole site comprises 7 full sized football pitches & 2 full sized rugby pitches, in addition to a number of junior pitches & dedicated training areas
With the help of Club Design Ltd (Design & Project Management) & Logistique Ltd (Grant Funding Bids & Business Planning) & in partnership with Derbyshire County Council the GFSA successfully put together a £2.3m project that saw the construction of a bespoke state of the art club house comprising 8 Team changing rooms (All FA & RFU Compliant) Officials & Disabled changing rooms, First Aid room, all with WC & showering facilities, Defibrillator, 2 commercial kitchens, Fully licensed bar, Café, Floodlight off street car parking & full sized Floodlight 3G Artificial Grass Football pitch.
The whole site underwent a comprehensive upgrading of existing drainage to the grass pitches & training areas. The new facility uses the latest renewable technologies in the form of solar heating, ground & air source heat pumps & rainwater harvesting. The major funders of the project included Derbyshire County Council, the Football Foundation, Sport England, the Rugby Football Union & Waste Recycling Environmental (WREN).
Gosforth Fields Sports Association where honoured when the Mayor of Dronfield Councillor Wendy Temple agreed to conduct the Ceremonial Ground Breaking at the site of the new Clubhouse on Gosforth Fields on January 5th 2009.
Accompanying the Mayor in the ground breaking photo from L to R are Pat Williams Chairman Dronfield Town FC & GFSA Member, Graham Bearder President AFC Dronfield & Secretary GFSA, Geoff Cox of Staffordshire Country Homes (Builders), Claudine Clarke GFSA & DTFC Child Protection Officer, Nigel Green DTFC President & GFSA Member, Izzy Pryce Lib Dem Councillor & GFSA Trustee Russ Wing GFSA Vice Chairman & Dronfield RFU, Ian “Eddie” Edwards DRFU & GFSA member Darren Bradwell GFSA Treasurer & DTFC Secretary & Mike Shalcross DRFU Chairman. One person missing from the photo who should get a mention is John Morris Vice President and Chairman of the GFSA who has worked tirelessly to drive this project forward. Gosforth Fields Sports Association said it was a proud day for the committee, as it had taken over 4 years of very hard, but patient work, to finally making this project a reality, not only the GFSA committee, but of each of the three founder clubs, Dronfield, NEDDC & DDC Councils who have kept faith in the project and it’s aim to be vital addition & benefit to the local community.
Construction started in ernest and included a state of the art Club House, Floodlit Car Park & 3G Football Pitch, Access Roads, Pathways & Extensive Ground Improvements.
The official opening of Gosforth Fields, by Sir Trevor Brooking CBE & John Owen President RFU, took place on Thursday 14th 2010. The new state-of-the-art facility is home to Dronfield Town FC, AFC Dronfield & Dronfield Rugby Club can now provide excellent playing and coaching facilities for in excess of 600 local boys, girls & adults registered with them. The facility will be managed by the Gosforth Fields Sports Association, an umbrella association made up of the 3 founding clubs. The Opening was attended by representatives from the 3 founding clubs, strategic partners, Town & District council, local business and organisations.
Sir Trevor Brooking, Director of Football Development at The FA, said: “I am delighted to be officially opening the excellent new facilities at Gosforth Fields. It is vital that young children have facilities where they can be safe and enjoy fun, quality coaching. For many youngsters, playing football can teach them life skills like communication and teamwork, but for a very talented few, facilities such as these may be where the next generation of players will develop their skills.
John Morris, Chairman at Gosforth Fields, said: “This new facility gives us a solid platform to support the 600 current players and strong foundations to develop football even further in the local community.”