Seaclose Park plans announced

Isle of Wight Councillor for Newport North – Matt Price – is seeking public feedback on a new proposal to rehome the County Town’s football club at a rejuvenated Seaclose Park 

Under the scheme, Newport FC would return to the parish of Newport, rather than move to its approved new stadium at the Racecourse as part of a series of recreational improvements to Seaclose aimed at encouraging greater community use of the park.These enhancements would include the marking out of football and cricket pitches in other areas of the park, the introduction of new removable sports equipment and upgraded walking and cycling routes.

The centrepiece of the plan is a new football ground with a grandstand, clubhouse, floodlights and the latest all-weather pitch – in the south-western corner of the park – that would be available for organised community use, while providing a new home for Newport FC who are currently hosted by footballing rivals East Cowes Vics.

Matt said the Seaclose idea came about last year during discussions about the relocation of Newport FC as part of plans for a retail park at the club’s former home at St George’s Park. Though the developer has permission for a new ground at the Racecourse at Whippingham, Matt believes the Seaclose alternative should be revisited as it had the potential to provide much wider community benefit. Crucially for Newport FC fans, the new location – just a short, walk or cycle from the town centre – would bring the 130-year-old club much closer to the heart of Newport than the consented Racecourse alternative.

The new ground – to the south of the planning offices and to the west of the bowling green – would continue to be owned by the IW Council. Newport FC would pay a peppercorn rent (as anchor tenant), with a condition that other community uses – including women’s football, youth football and also sport for those with disabilities – should take place at the venue.

Cllr Price said: “Having seen off proposals to build 40 houses on land at Seaclose Park, it is right that we now look at how sports and recreational provision can be enhanced in this location. We have the opportunity to create both a top-class new home for Newport FC and also an excellent recreational facility for wider community use, along with a significantly improved skatepark (incorporating a pump track), similar to what has been put forward in Freshwater. It is well worth exploring, particularly as we need more outdoor facilities for people of all ages to enjoy.

As local member, I can see that providing a new football ground in either location would work but the Seaclose alternative ensures that Newport FC remains in Newport, while also being much more accessible and offering greater immediate community benefits. The Seaclose option incorporates all the facilities included in the Racecourse plan – and more – so ultimately we have to decide which of these locations would be best.”

The Seaclose alternative is already supported, in principle, by the Newport FC Supporters Trust, while Matt said initial feedback from other elected members in the wider Newport & Carisbrooke parish area had also been positive.

But he said any new facility must not adversely affect the future of the Isle of Wight Festival at Seaclose Park. He added: 

“The proposed area sits to the south of the main area used for hosting the Festival, but I recognise it does provide an area which is used in support. However, I believe this proposal can actually enhance and complement the festival site by providing additional hard standing backstage hospitality and accommodation. The scheme has been worked up with the festival’s requirements in mind.”

Pete Westhorpe, Secretary of Newport FC Supporters’ Trust, added:

“A move to Whippingham would give us a high-quality new ground, but I believe supporters would prefer this closer to the town centre if this could be delivered swiftly. 

“Moving to Seaclose and bringing the club back into Newport would have its attractions for   supporters and as such I welcome Cllrs Price’s initiative.”

Tony Wake, chairman of Newport Football Club and director of South Coast Leisure said: “The Whippingham site is where we have planned to relocate the club and we expect to make a start on the build towards the end of the summer but, time permitting,

“I am happy to keep the Seaclose alternative on the table for now should the council and the public agree it is better option.”

To complete the survey and provide feedback to Matt , please click here .




Update on football

Just to update everyone on what is happening in the Wessex Football world.

Each club has been asked to complete a survey on how we should proceed, suggestions include End null and void, Promotion on Points per game and Postponment of current season to resume after the summer. We have completed our survey which has gone forward with other clubs and the FA will make the final decision.

For everybody who has bought tickets for the East Cowes Vics match, we have your contact details which we took for Track and Trace, when things are safer to meet and once the FA have decided on what is happening with the season you will have the choice of returning the tickets for a full refund or keeping them for the rearranged match, should that be the decision.

We will keep you posted when we know more.

Stay safe.

Wessex League suspend all league and league cup matches

The following statement was released by the Wessex League tonight.
“At the League Board Meeting this evening it was agreed to suspend all League and League Cup fixtures with immediate effect.
This decision will be reviewed on the 18th January 2021, depending on any changes to Government and FA guidelines.
Further statement to be issued tomorrow.”
This announcement means that the local derby match against East Cowes Vics planned for 28th December cannot now go ahead. For those who have already purchased tickets, please hold on to them for the rearranged fixture. This is news hot off the press and when we know more we will share with you.

Christmas Derby

The Christmas local derby between Newport and East Cowes Vics will be an all ticket match as spectators are limited to 300.

Tickets for the match go on sale on Saturday at the following times and locations;

Sat 19th Dec            St. Georges Park Car Park              from 10am to Noon

Sat 19th Dec           Beatrice Avenue East Cowes         from 2pm to 3pm

Sun 20th Dec          St Georges Park Car Park               from 2pm to 3pm

Mon 21st Dec         St Georges Park Car Park               from 11am to 12 Noon

Andover Town 1 Newport 3

Newport produced a fine team performance to take all three points at Portway on Saturday.

Alek Przepolewski was a late casualty with a back problem but Josh Younie returned to the bench following his recent suspension.

The Port got of to a fine start , attacking with real intent from the off they soon took the lead on 8 minutes. The increasingly confident Jake Wright wound his way through several mindfielders before slotting a through ball to Connor Kelly who drew the keeper out and slid the ball into the net.

Newport continued in a lively vein putting a lot of pressure on the Andover defence who were looking a little shellshocked. Newport continued to press with chances just missing the target and a second goal looked to be coming. On 33 minutes that happened following a flowing move. Neo Lamb was getting success down the left hand side and he squared the ball into the box. Jordan Browne took one touch and slammed the ball past the wrong footed home keeper.

Andover finally started to get a handle on the game and managed to take the game to Newport. The home side were to pull one back with 39 minutes on the clock Zach Hine hitting a fine strike in the top right hand corner of Gary Streeters goal. Newport were then forced on the backfoot and had to see out the minutes until half time.

HT: Andover Town 1 Newport 2

The Port came out for the second half with a slightly different formation in order to keep the hosts at bay.

Andover were playing good football in the middle of the park but there didnt seem to be much threat up front as shots from distance went wide or were taken easily by Gary Streeter. If the Newport plan was to shut down the game in midfield it seemed to be working and a string of substitutions broke up the flow of the game. Josh Younie came on in midfield to replace the tiring Joe Craig and the fresh legs had an almost instant impact. Twice the sub went close to scoring, one held by the keeper and one pushed away for a corner. On 78 minutes Jared Cousins was brought on for Jake Wright to use his pace and test the tiring Andover defenders.

Ryan Hughes was then to pick the ball up in his own half and go on amazing 60 yard run, ending with him playing the ball off an Andover defender for a corner. Josh Younie took the kick  and swung the ball into the box. Scott Barron started a run into the box to attack the ball but he was stopped by the legs of an Andover defender and the well placed referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Only one person was ever going to take the kick and the cool headed Connor Kelly steeped up to drive the ball forcefully into the back of the net.

The Port were then able to see the time out to get back on the winning trail and move up to 4th position in the league.

Full Time: Andover Town 1 Newport 3

Newport: Streeter, Hughes, Lamb, Barron, McDonagh, Pearce, Kelly, Wright (Cousins), Butcher, Browne, Craig (Josh Younie).

Att. 110



Wessex League returns this week- Reserve team withdraw from league

Wessex League football returns this week as Newport are at home to Hythe & Dibden on Tuesday night. The new management team of Stewart Shepherd and Steve Brougham will be in charge as they look to keep the momentum going in what has been a stop start season.

After the four week lockdown, everyone should be keen to get back to football. The kick off at Beatrice Avenue is 7.45pm, full Track and Trace procedures will be in place. If you have the T&T app then please scan the QR codes at the entrance, otherwise you will need to supply full contact details.

The bar at East Cowes Vics will be open for table service only.

Sadly the club have been forced to withdraw the Reserve team from the Hampshire Combination and Development League. We have had trouble in recent matches in raising a side to travel to the mainland and the team management of Stuart Simmonds, Marc Sheerin and Graham Snow decided enough was enough and stood down. The club decided that in the current circumstances it was best to withdraw from the competition and re-evaluate our position on Reserve team football. Everone at Newport would like to thank Stuart Marc and Graham for their work with the Reserves over the last two seasons and their time with the Youth section before that.

Football set to return on 5th December

The Port first team look set to return to action on Tuesday 8th December when Hythe & Dibden will be the opposition at Beatrice Avenue with a 7.45pm kick off.

Fingers crossed everything locally stays as  it is, with the Island in Tier 1, a provisional programme of matches has been released up until Christmas.

New management team Stewart Shepherd and Steve Brougham will be in charge (although technically they were for the last home match against Totton and Eling). Players have been keeping fit by holding their own 5k challenge through the lockdown. Each player individually doing their weekly runs and recording their results on Strava. Anyone not completing their run has paid a fine. The first club training session will be held on Thursday 3rd December at Cowes 3g followed by a further training session on Saturday. Unfortunately we were unable to organise a friendly as all Island League clubs return to league action.

Newport A return on Saturday 5th December in the Harwoods IW league div 2, away to Pan Sports

Club statement

Newport (IW) FC first team manager Andy Sampson has decided to stand down from his post.

Unfortunately he feels he cannot continue to give the role the time and effort, he rightly believes it requires, due to other committments.

Everyone at Newport would like to place on record their thanks to Andy for the work he has done over the past two and a half years in assembling the current squad of players. We wish Andy the very best and look forward to seeing him at some of our upcoming matches this season.

Assistant Managers Stewart Shepherd and Steve Brougham will move up to take over the running of the first team squad as Joint Managers with immediate effect. We are confident they will continue to build on what is a fantastic squad and the Port will push for a promotion spot this season.

Tuesday night football

Tonight Newport are at home to Totton and Eling at Beatrice Avenue.

Due to the recently announced lockdown, this is likely to be the last match on the Island for the next four weeks.

Kick off is at 7.45pm not 7.30pm as previously advertised.

There are no concerns about the East Cowes Vics pitch following Saturdays match there. Rich Newberry the groundsman completed his restoration yesterday and was even able to mow the pitch.

Please ensure you follow the latest Covid 19 guidance if you attend the match tonight. On arrival please have your contact details ready or be prepared to use the Track and Trace App. Please use the hand sanitiser provided at the entrance and around the ground. Face coverings must be worn in the clubhouse unless seated and eating/drinking. Social distancing around the ground will be expected and enforced.

If you can’t make it tonight , we look forward to seeing you when we resume.