Eastbourne United boss Paul Daubeney (right) admits the council’s decision to give redevelopment at the Oval the green light is the best bit of news the club has had this season.
It has been a difficult few months on the pitch, as the proposed works on the ground have taken priority.
Eastbourne Borough Council’s planning committee last week gave the club the go-ahead to demolish the existing stand and build three new stands in its place, along with a pay booth and 30 car parking spaces.
This will allow United to continue competing in the County Leagues, while they would also be eligible for promotion to the Ryman Leagues in future.
Daubeney said, “It’s a fantastic bit of news, we’ve still got to have it rubberstamped in February, then it’s down to the stadia funding.Hopefully we can get that and then get started in March or April.
“This is the best bit of news we could have had. It let’s us stay in the County League, though we still could go down to division two.”
United remain winless and bottom of division one, but could be saved from the drop, as rivals Hailsham were last season, should the leading sides in the division below fail to meet ground requirements.
But the manager is determined to avoid relegation on merit. Their next chance to pick up that first victory comes at Redhill tomorrow. United drew 1-1 with the Surrey side in October, after which Brian Dennis and his opposite number Marcus Alcindor were both sacked.
Daubeney, who is still recovering from a recent operation, took the reins after that match and he hopes to be able to make it to this weekend’s reverse fixture.
“I played for them for 10 years, they were my team really, so it would be nice to be there for that one,” he said.
Hailsham Town boss Kenny McCreadie is keen to bolster his squad as he anticipates a busy couple of months for his side due to the inevitable fixture congestion.
“I am definitely looking to add depth in this period; we are talking to two players at the moment and there could be up to four signings,” he said.
Despite scoring an impressive 39 goals so far this term, McCreadie has seen his side concede a worrying 42 in the league. With this in mind the Hailsham boss is keen to strengthen his defence at the earliest opportunity.
“This is a very important month for us with key league and cup fixtures and it is important to have competition for places during such a busy time.”
McCreadie acknowledges that January represents a huge opportunity for his side to distant themselves from the lower reaches of County Division one, while also staying in the hunt for cup glory.
With possible silverware in the horizon for McCreadie and his team, he is keen to not get too carried away.
“We’ve just got to take one game at a time, it would be stupid to start focusing on Tuesday night’s Sussex Senior Cup tie at home to East Grinstead before Saturday.”
The Scotsman takes his side to Selsey tomorrow boosted by the return to fitness of Ben Putland (above) and Ashley Jarvis.
With Selsey also enduring an indifferent league campaign McCreadie is well aware of the opportunity available to his players against a team who have won just once in their last eight home matches.
“It’s a bit of a six-pointer isn’t it? It will be a tough game but with near enough my full team I am very confident we can win it.”