This time last week preparations were intense to prepare New Midgley Park to a state of match readiness, ahead of the inaugural game for the new dressing room pavilion which was the Danske Bank NIFL Women’s Premier League game between Linfield and Glentoran on Wednesday April 25.
At this stage last week, Linfieldfc.com had announced that the small 200 seater grandstand would not be operational, except for use as dug outs.
Ahead of a site meeting between club officials, council representatives and the building contractors, the weather forecast for Wednesday evening was for thunder and hailstones and this gave added impetus to all concerned to have the grandstand fully operational for the Wednesday night game.
With excellent cooperation between builders and council officials, the remaining works needed to prepare the grandstand for match readiness were completed on Wednesday afternoon and this meant supporters attending the game were able to take cover in comfort for the duration of the game.
Although the dressing rooms and the new main players entrance to the pavilion were ready for use, the meeting room side of the pavilion was not in use and is not due to be finished until later this month.
The work completed to get the grandstand and the dressing room pavillion Match ready for Wednesdays game was duly rewarded with a thrilling Big Two Derby game and an important 4-3 win for League Champions Linfield.
It was a memorable occasion to launch a new venue for home games for various Linfield teams.
Colin McMaster’s photos below capture some of the scenes before last week’s game.
And the images below give an indication of the interior of the pavilion before match day last Wednesday.
No sooner was this game over and there was further significant progress on the New Midgley Park site.
The previous road between Boucher Rd and the South / Kop entrance to Windsor Park up the back of the dressing room pavilion at New Midgley Park has been closed and replaced with an impressive tree lined boulevard which leads up to the New Olympia Leisure Centre.
Similarly, the car park round the back of the New Midgley Park pavilion has been replaced by a new car park in front of the New Olympia Leisure Centre, as the whole development really begins to take shape. The car park which has just been closed is only closed on a short term basis and will reopen later this month as a Linfield FC car park.
The images below at Linfield Ladies FC weekend training reveal more of the changing landscape at the Boucher rd entrance to New Midgley Park, Windsor Park and the New Olympia Leisure Centre.
Exciting times, as the entire redevelopment / transformation of the site draws ever nearer to completion.