Spotlight falls on ground

ALNWICK Town’s ground will come under the spotlight this weekend, as the club vies to secure its Northern League status.

League officials will carry out an informal inspection of St James’ Park on Saturday to see how close it is to meeting the required criteria.

The black ’n’ whites have until March 31 to transform their home into a ground which is Grade G-rated – the necessary standard for Northern League Division Two sides – which includes having hard-standing on at least three sides of the pitch and covered seating for 50 spectators.

If newly-promoted Alnwick do not meet the standard, they will be relegated at the end of the season, regardless of their position in Division Two.

But Alnwick Town chairman Tom McKie is confident that the ground is already up to scratch, having spent £100,000 on improvements over the course of the last four seasons.

He said: “We have met the criteria. The list that the league gave us is now complete. We are just waiting on it to be officially passed later in the year.

“The visit will be informal and they are coming up in case there is any last-minute things that we need to do.”

Mr McKie praised the work and support of the local community for helping bring about ground improvements, including supporters, sponsors and businesses, as well as money from the Duke of Northumberland.

Northern League chairman Mike Amos said: “It will be an advisory inspection at Alnwick. I know they have done a lot of work. I will advise them if I think any work needs to be done or if they have done all they need to do.”