An ambitious junior football club is hoping for an early Christmas present as it looks to develop a ten-acre site into a new recreational facility for hundreds of York youngsters.

Poppleton Junior Football Club, which has more than 300 children registered and runs teams from under-7s to under-15s, is waiting on the nod from City of York Council so work can start on developing the land in Millfield Lane.

"We offer equal opportunities to children of mixed abilities but our resources are becoming limited with additional football pitches urgently required," explained club chairman Phil Richardson.

"The new site would provide the perfect location while providing further opportunities for children taking part in other healthy activities."

Richardson said planning permission had already been granted and the club had employed a solicitor to negotiate the land contracts.

"We are just waiting for the final green-light from the council and hope to get it by the end of the year," he said.

"It is just grazing land and so it would take a lot of hard work but we are confident of doing it and are aiming to be on the land by spring next year."

Richardson said the club's current facilities at Poppleton Community Centre were struggling to meet a high demand.

With four senior teams also sharing the two pitches with the youngsters the constant usage was taking its toll on the playing surface, which has to undergo costly repairs at the end of every season.

"The new facility would not just be for children in Poppleton but for youngsters from the surrounding villages like Haxby and Wigginton, in fact any kid that wants to turn up we will take them on," said Richardson

The club, a voluntary organisation, has a number of fundraising activities in the pipeline, including a sponsored run in December.

An inaugural sportsman's dinner is also planned for York Racecourse on March 1 next year with former Leeds United legend Norman Hunter booked as the main speaker.

Middlesbrough boss Bryan Robson and his former Manchester United team mate Steve Bruce have also indicated they will be attending.

The club is looking for sponsors for the dinner and to help with fundraising while some places are still available for those wanting to attend.

For further details telephone Richardson on 01904 780416.