Let there be light, say St Andrews United

For most football fans, a match under floodlights is an always-exciting but pretty common part of the season.

By Scott Inglis
Thursday, 6th January 2022, 5:58 pm

At St Andrews United, though, their evening home match against Kennoway Star Hearts meant a lot more.

The switch was flicked for the first time on new floodlights at the Clayton Caravan Park Recreation Ground for a game United won 3-2.

The project to install the lights was started back in the 2018/19 season.

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Club secretary Donald Gellatly told the St Andrews Citizen he was “absolutely delighted” to see the town’s pitch bathed in light during the evening.

He added: “When we originally moved from the junior grade of football to the senior non-leagues and applied for membership of the Scottish Football Association, there was no requirement to possess floodlights.

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“We undertook a great deal of work in order to comply with standards set by the SFA regarding finance, administrative procedures, disability policies and ground improvements during the autumn of 2018.

“Unfortunately, the need to possess floodlights operating to a minimum of 200 lux with a high degree of uniformity was added to the SFA licensing and membership requirements a matter of weeks before we were due to be assessed by the governing body.

“Such measures were put in place as dozens of former junior outfits looked to turn senior, yet the cost of installing lights on 15m steel columns has been enormous for a small club like Saints.”

United’s committee secured grants from the St Andrews Community Trust, Fife Council and the Football Partnership to pave the way for construction.

Several local businessmen have also helped to complete the project.

Gellatly added: “It was wonderful to see a bumper crowd of 200 spectators attending the first-ever semi-professional football match held under the lights in St Andrews at the end of December.”

Members of the local walking football squad and St Andrews Colts’ youth teams will also benefit from playing the odd match under the new floodlights.

Saints can now also press ahead with plans to gain a licence from the SFA, which would pave the way for entry into the main Scottish Cup.

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