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Former West Brom and Wolves player Nigel Quashie saves Powerleague site

By Liam Keen | Halesowen | News | Published:

A former Black Country footballer has helped save a grassroots site from closing.

Get in! Nigel Quashie, with his son Brayden Clarke, aged 11, and his fiancee Kerry Clarke at the Powerleague site

Nigel Quashie used to turn out for West Brom, Wolves and Birmingham, but now the 40-year-old is turning his hand to five-a-side football, saving a local site from closure.

The Powerleague site on Park Road in Halesowen was doomed after its closure was announced as one of 13 to be closed.

This was until former star Quashie, and his partner Kerry Clarke, who owns Boing Zone trampoline parks with her father Ian, took on the project.

Discussions with the landlords were successful and the trio are taking over the property in January, re-naming it Soccer Zone from January 31, with plans in place to revamp the tired site.

The former Premier League star and Scotland international will take over as the general manager of the site which will also be the home of his IPDA, the Improving Players Development Academy, which currently offers training to over 200 aspiring players.

The couple's 11-year-old son Brayden is one of 15 players to come through from this academy who have moved on to professional teams, with the youngster turning out for the Wolves academy side.

Nigel said "I'm excited at this opportunity to provide great facilities for children of all abilities to train and improve their footballing skills, and look forward to expanding my IPDA academy so that as many players as possible are given the opportunity to sign for professional academies."

Nigel Quashie.

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Landlord of the Halesowen five-a-side site, Derek Beasley, said: “We are delighted to hand over the responsibility of running this complex to another local family, who have such great plans for a centre of excellence for the local community."

The family plan to refurbish the clubhouse and reopen it as a sports bar in February, as well as refurbishing the changing rooms.

Following that, the pitches will also have their astroturf renewed with plans in place for a new 9-a-side pitch later in the year.

The site will be open every day and will be available during the daytime to local schools and special needs and disability groups, with a resident Sports Therapist and rehabilitation gym.

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Kerry said "We are looking forward to providing first class facilities for local football teams, community groups and schools."

Kerry and Ian opened their first trampoline park in 2015, located on Mill Race Lane in Stourbridge.

The father-and-daughter duo now have two others in Cannock and Birmingham, alongside the midland's first inflatable theme park which opened earlier this year in Birmingham.

Liam Keen

By Liam Keen
Sports Reporter - @LiamKeen_Star

Sports journalist at the Express & Star, primarily covering Walsall FC and grassroots sport across the Black Country and Staffordshire. Got a story? Get in touch on 01902 319456.

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