FOOTBALL: Cirencester Town reject Swindon Town's training deal offer

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Cirencester Town chairman Steve Abbley Cirencester Town chairman Steve Abbley

CIRENCESTER TOWN have rejected Swindon Town’s approach to use their training facilities – both indoor and outdoor - full time.

Over the last three winters, under managers Danny Wilson, Paolo Di Canio and Kevin MacDonald, Swindon have been happy to use Cirencester’s indoor arena which has recently been refurbished with a Premier League-standard 3G training surface.

No money changed hands, but Swindon agreed to play a first team, pre-season friendly at the Corinium Stadium.

Now cost-cutting Swindon, whose plans for a new training centre at Calne have been put on the back burner and who changed ownership this week, have asked Cirencester Town chairman Steve Abbley whether they can come to Cirencester full time, for the same deal - one pre-season friendly.

“I understand they hate training on their current pitches at Liddington,” said Abbley, the wealthy co-founder and chairman of Royal Wootton Bassett-based Quick Move Properties, the UK's largest property part exchange company.

Abbley, a former Swindon Town pro himself who has in the past been asked to invest at the County Ground, added: “We obviously would like to help and put Swindon’s proposal to our committee but it was unanimously rejected.

“If Swindon trained on our back pitches four days a week they would be in no condition for our kids to play on them at the weekends, which would not go down well with the mums and dads.”

Apart from the first team, Cirencester run 17 teams from U6s upwards, including two ladies’ sides, the Development (Reserve) team in the Hellenic League, as well as the Cirencester College Academy outfit.

Trivia: Cirencester Town’s general manager Scott Griffin was on Norwich City’s youth books at the same time as new Swindon Town chairman and owner Lee Power.

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