Bexhill United have achieved the ‘G’ ground grading from the Football Association.
The G grade is the requirement for Macron Store Sussex County Football League Division Two and may help earn Bexhill a place in the FA Cup for the first time next season.
Bexhill finished sixth in Division Two and clubs outside the top four could be accepted into the FA Cup ‘subject to available places and subject to the ground conforming to the minimum standard’.
“A lot of people said you will never get it,” said Bexhill chairman Bill Harrison. “But if you work hard enough and do things properly...”
Despite only receiving the ‘H’ grade last year, Bexhill expected to get the ‘G’ grade following a visit from the league’s ground grading committee to their base at The Polegrove back in January.
That visit revealed some minor jobs which needed doing, but Harrison never anticipated any problems and the club was awarded the grading at the end of last week.
A lot of people said you will never get it, but if you work hard enough and do things properly...Bill Harrison
The ‘F’ grade is needed for Division One, although one key issue facing Bexhill is possessing hard standing around three sides of the pitch.
There has always been a concrete path along the southern side and this season the club has laid a temporary material behind the eastern goal on matchdays, enabling it to play in the FA Vase for the first time.
But Bexhill still need to lay a path behind the western goal and without interfering with fellow grounduser Bexhill Cricket Club.
“There’s different options I’m looking at,” added Harrison. “Hopefully we’ll get something that suits everyone. The main thing, though, was to get this grading that we’ve got now.”