WOKING Football Club have scored big in their pursuit of bringing football to the community.
The Cards have struck a deal with Woking Shopping to take over the empty premises in Wolsey Place, where Subway formally stood, and opened with a bang on Wednesday.
The new base at the heart of the town provides the club with an accessible hub that will only help enhance the image of the team and its outreach programmes, according to chairman Mike Smith.
Mr Smith also believes having a presence in the middle of the town is something that has been overdue for quite some time. Speaking at the new club shop, he explained: “We are extremely grateful to Woking Shopping who, as part of a kit sponsoring deal, have offered us use of this space.
“We’re here for a year and what we wanted to do was plant a flag in the town. We’ve got fantastic community credentials and we want to tell people what we stand for as a club.”
Mr Smith admitted that he did not want to call the site a ‘shop’ – but instead wanted the space to be recognised more as a multi-purpose environment.
He said: “It’s not just retail space, it’s office space from which we can professionally project ourselves.
“We want this space to be used to sign youngsters on to the academy, and we have a fun element as well.” Built into one wall is a replica of Garry Hill’s dressing room, complete with clothes hangers, shirts, boots and bench.
“We will be filling this stage set element with a bit of life, such as Garry’s half-time team talks so expect a bit of fun with it.”
Also on offer is continuous highlights of Woking memories past and present, while a tapestry of Cards’ history, and a soon to be completed mural from Woking College, will also mount the wall. Of course, replica strips and footballs will be available to purchase.
“This is vital to the club,” said Smith. “Like any club we are comprised of different elements, the community team and the commercial team and we needed a space in which we could all come together.”