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Sporting Khalsa making strides on and off the pitch

By Joe Edwards | Non league | Published:

Things are shaping up very nicely on and off the pitch at Sporting Khalsa.

Sporting Khalsa have upgraded the Aspray Arena stadium by building a new stand (Credit: Sporting Khalsa)

The Willenhall-based outfit are on the verge of completing a £1million revamp of their Aspray Arena stadium, and have made several new signings.

A fresh 3G surface has been laid and, along with a 320-seater stand, will officially be unveiled as Ian Rowe's charges host Hereford in a pre-season friendly on Saturday, July 14.

"It's been a lot of hard work over the last several months," said treasurer Inder Grewal.

"The 3G pitch is in place and you can play on that all year round – you get more use out of it and it's better for the community too.

"We've had new stand on the right-hand side as you come into the ground, and a bit of a hospitality area for away teams.

"We've had new changing rooms for home and away put in, a new referee's room and a manager office as well."

An FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie against FC United of Manchester in 2015 put Khalsa on the map.

More than 2,000 were on hand for the clash, which United won 3-1, but a fight broke out at the game and 10 people were later found guilty of being involved with the trouble.

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Grewal insists this work was done to make sure if such an occasion comes around again, everything should run smoothly.

"We had the game against FC United of Manchester in the FA Cup a few years ago and that whetted our appetite," he said.

"There were a few people running around a bit, though, so we wanted to make sure that if those big games come around again, that we have the infrastructure to deal with it properly.

"Everything is in place now. It's just putting the finishing touches to it and hopefully Hereford will bring a good crowd down, and it'll be a great day."

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Khalsa have snapped up striker Tony Clarke from Walsall Wood, goalkeeper Dale Reaney from Wolverhampton Sporting and former Stourport Swifts skipper Alex Perry.

Midfielders Rico Taylor and Garfield Robinson and 16-year-old shot-stopper Ryan Pratt have also been signed.

They will be setting their sights on the Midland Premier title this time around.

Rowe's men finished fifth last term and third in 2016/17 and 2015/16.

They spent the second half of last campaign playing their home games at AFC Wulfrunians' CKW Stadium in Castlecroft while work at the Aspray Arena – the former home of Willenhall Town on Noose Lane – was going on.

Wulfrunians, Wood, Wolves Sporting, Swifts and Lye Town will be competing in the same division as Khalsa next term.

Joe Edwards

By Joe Edwards
Multi-Media Sports Journalist - @JoeEdwards_Star

Sports reporter for the Express & Star and Shropshire Star.

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