AN AMATEUR football club near Selby is celebrating after a grant of nearly £15,000 helped pay for the installation of a new drainage system at its home ground to combat waterlogging problems.

Cliffe Football Club’s pitch on Cliffe Playing Fields will be officially re-opened tomorrow by Nigel Adams, MP for Selby and Ainsty, after undergoing major improvements.

The work, which cost about £19,000, was funded by a grant of £14,839 from the Emergency Football Relief Fund, and money from fundraising by the club and Cliffe Playing Fields Association.

The Fund is a scheme delivered by the Football Foundation that awarded grants to football facilities damaged as a result of storm Desmond back in 2015.

The storm resulted in grassroots football clubs' pitches, changing rooms and stands being severely damaged by strong winds and heavy rain fall, causing matches and training sessions to be postponed.

In the case of Cliffe FC, the storm caused severe flooding to Cliffe Playing Fields, including the club’s pitch, which was already prone to waterlogging. This left the local community without a playing field and the club’s pitch unplayable for six months, resulting in Cliffe FC having to rent other facilities. The cash boost from the Emergency Football Relief Fund has enabled Cliffe FC to install a brand new drainage system, as well as perform vital surface improvement works.

This has secured future use of both the pitch for the club, and the field for the community as a whole.

Malcolm Bryce, Cliffe FC secretary, said: “The season before last we had to play home games elsewhere.

“But the improvements have restored the confidence in the pitch being playable. We have not had to cancel any games since the work was carried out.

“At its worse [following storm Desmond], half to two thirds of the pitch was unplayable. The whole playing field was affected, including the playground area, so it affected the community as well.”

Nigel Adams will re-open Cliffe FC’s pitch at 1.45pm tomorrow. The club has four teams who use its pitch on Cliffe Playing Fields to train and play fixtures.