Swindon Supermarine Chairman Jez Webb believes the club’s new state-of-the-art Swindome facility has the potential to be a game-changer both on and off the pitch.
The impressive facility was erected on Sunday, despite the wet and weather windy conditions, with an army of volunteers, including club staff and various members of the first-team, helping to raise the dome.
Work is now well underway in terms of laying the pitches inside the facility, which will also have an upstairs that will house a gym and luxury changing rooms.
Supermarine have spared no expense with their latest addition, investing heavily in a 12mm shock pad which will lay under the playing surface to ensure maximum comfort and less risk when it comes to injuries for its users.
The Swindome, as well as being used by the football club, has been built with the local community in mind and will be available to be hired out by various groups and organisations.
That will ensure Supermarine has an extra and much-needed source of income, in addition to providing first-team manager Dave Webb and his charges with the perfect platform on which to enjoy success on the field.
And, speaking at length with FLIC’s Sports Editor Andrew Steele-Davis earlier today, Webb feels that the new state-of-the-art facility will benefit Swindon Supermarine Football Club both on and off the field.
“It is massive because of the sheer demand of what is inside the dome. The dome itself is unique when you go inside it, it is not like playing inside a normal building,” Webb said.
“It is just a unique experience.
“There is huge demand already. We’ve been flooded by enquires but we’re not quite ready to go on that side of it yet, we will be in the New Year.
“The cash, money and revenue that the dome will generate will be huge for the club. We’re a stable club anyway, we always have been, but it will just help us and we’re not going to be reliant so much on our great sponsors.
“We are always struggling to find surfaces in Swindon that are good surfaces, and it is all well and good just hiring somewhere and getting on, but what the dome will provide is a really big area to train on with the most up to date shock pad and playing surface.
“It will save us quite a bit of money on hiring venues out as well.”
Webb also believes that the Swindome will help to bring together all aspects of the football club, in addition to helping attract a better quality of player to the first-team.
“I think it will help the youth section here integrate into the senior team more, they will feel part of the club and they will be hiring it as well,” added Webb.
“There are over 160 children that are involved in that.
“When you walk through the gate it shows you that we mean business.
“We’ve had players in our first-team that have come up through the youth system and I think it will attract more people to the youth system.
“It will also attract more people to the main club as well, so it has got to have a massive positive impact in my book.
“They (the players) can’t wait to get in there.”
In terms of the impact the Swindome will have on the wider community, Webb has revealed that he has already been inundated with dozens of enquires from various groups who are interested in using the facility.
“There is huge demand. Big businesses have their own teams, all the lads want to get out on a Thursday night and hire somewhere,” continued the Supermarine Chairman.
“Schools, walking football is quite big, we’ve had quite a few enquires from them, youth sections of football clubs, it will be open to everyone really.”
Finally, while Swindon Town have recently purchased their own training base, Webb is more than happy to allow Marine’s close neighbours to use the Swindome should the need arise.
“Lee (Power) and I stay in contact and if Swindon Town wanted to hire it, of course they would be welcome to.
“I’m pleased to see that Lee has finally secured some good facilities just outside of Highworth, because I know that was one of Lee’s priorities.
“He spoke to me a couple of times about here at Supermarine, but we both agreed at quite an early stage that this site, even though it is ten acres, we’ve only got two full-sized football pitches and Lee really wanted three or four.
“I’m pleased Swindon have found that and it is not as much travel for them.
“But, if the snow comes and the frost comes, then I’ll always help Swindon Town out.
“They’ve helped us out, they loan us a player here and there, they’ve never been negative towards us and they always give us a fantastic pre-season friendly, which is invaluable.
“So if we can help in return then I’m sure we will.
“We’re very lucky that we own this site here and that is an important thing.”
Log onto FLIC WILTSHIRE next week for Part Two of our chat with Jez Webb, who outlines his long-term vision for Swindon Supermarine.
Below is a gallery of images from the construction of the dome, as captured by FLIC’s Richard Wintle.