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Football club eyes Treetops return to town
3:30pm Wednesday 27th February 2013 in News
GRAYS Athletic Football Club are in advanced discussions with Treetops School over a move back to the borough, it has been announced.
The football club, currently flying high in Ryman Division One North, have been working on a return to Grays following a three-year absence.
The move would see the school lease land to the football club on which they intend to build a small, community stadium with facilities the school and residents could use.
Council leader John Kent organised a meeting between Grays Athletic bosses and Treetops headteacher Paul Smith, after the school hinted it supported the club’s bid to move back to Grays.
A statement on the club’s website read: “Grays Athletic have held discussions with representatives of Treetops School, over a possible relocation of the club back to the town.
“We wish to acknowledge and thank John Kent, who suggested this option and initially brought the two parties together.”
Blues left their New Recreation ground home on Clarence Road in 2010. They have since ground-shared with East Thurrock United and are currently playing at the Rush Green stadium in Romford.
Grays chief executive Andy Swallow, pictured above right, told the Gazette discussions have gone well.
He said: “We’ve been in talks with Treetops for some time. The school is looking to build a new gym and if there’s any way we can support that we will.
"We’re then looking to put a small stadium on land there that we will lease, with access from Stanford Road, which avoids traffic coming through residential areas.
“It will be built for the community and will be for no more than Conference South level, so not too big.
“We’re in the early stages at the moment, but it’s very positive so far.”
Cllr Kent’s role at East Thurrock United, where he is president, has caused unrest among Grays fans.
But the council leader said: “I remain committed to doing all I can to see Grays Athletic return to Grays, where they should be, as quickly as possible.”