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Small steps can be big ones for a non-league club

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Getting planning permission to build a screen fence round a ground may not seem a major step forward, but it is nevertheless an important one for Highland League outfit Strathspey Thistle.   The club plays at Seafield Park in Grantown-on-Spey.  It is the first in a series of steps forward:



  1. If a ground is not completely enclosed in a way that means the pitch is not visible from the outside, the club concerned cannot join the Scottish Football Association (SFA).

  2. If you are not a member of the SFA, you cannot enter the Scottish Cup which gives smaller clubs profile and can raise modest but important sums of money.

  3. SFA membership entitles a club to receive cash payments and even in a less severe winter Highland League fixtures are vulnerable to the weather.

The next step is to provide some turnstiles, a permanent site for the tea bar and 'proper toilets'.  Goodness knows what the current ones are like.