UNEVEN pitches and a leaking club house roof are just two of the things Abingdon Youth Football Club are hoping to repair with a £88,000 share of funding from a nearby development.

The popular club, which is regularly attended by more than 250 young people, is seeking to make improvements as new chairman Mark Hill and his committee of volunteers set their sights on expansion.

Susan Claridge-Alder, the club's fundraising manager, said: "At the moment, our club house roof is leaking and that means we can't really store equipment there.

"We also only have two toilets, which isn't great when you've got all the kids and their parents. We have to hope the rugby club is open on the weekends when we have matches and that isn't always the case."

She added: "We are hoping to use some of the money to repair the club house and then extend it so there are three toilets for boys, three for the girls, and a disabled toilet as well."

The most expensive improvement though, estimated at around £50,000, would be flattening the large playing field, which is used for all the pitches needed for the club's 16 current teams.

According to vice-chairman Chris Cording, improving the space, which currently has an uneven section in the middle which is prone to flooding, would mean they could take full advantage of the land.

He said: "Right now there is a large section in the middle that is completely unusable because it is so uneven."

The 39-year-old added: "We hold a big tournament in May and have around 4,000 people here across the whole event. It is a struggle to manage everything so there are spaces for all the teams to compete which is frustrating when you know the land is there."

Ms Claridge-Alder's 12-year-old son, John, who is a goalkeeper for the U13s Green team, agreed and said: "It would be really good if the ground was even because then I wouldn't have to worry about kicking out the ball and it hitting a mound of grass."

The football club committee are hoping to pay for the transformation with money from developer Taylor Wimpey, which has built the 158-home estate Morland Gardens on land off Drayton Road, near the club's Lambrick Way base.

The funding, known as Section 106 money, is designed to offset any additional pressure on local services from the extra houses and £300,000 has been set aside specifically for sports and leisure facilities.

Refurbishment would also include outdoor storage for goal posts.

Mr Hill said the committee was continuing the work begun by previous chairman Nathan Franks and his vice chairman Chris Day and thanked them for their hard work.

Abingdon Town Council's planning, highways and consultation committee voted to support the football club's application at a meeting on August 21.

They will meet with youth football club committee members next week to discuss how to take the funding bid forward.

The club will also be hosting a taster session for two new girls' teams on September 12 at 6pm. The U10s team is aimed at those in years four and five, while the U12s is for years six and seven.

No experience is needed, just shin pads and boots.