A NEW all-weather football facility has opened its doors after more than a year of frustration and fears that the scheme would be shelved.
‘Soccer City’ opened on Monday at Mayfield Industrial Estate, in the unit formerly occupied by Lightning Paint Rollers, after problems with contractors delayed the opening for some time.
The new centre will create 15 jobs, and includes five five-a-side pitches and one seven-a-side pitch, all on the same 3G surface the mighty Barcelona train on.
Manager at Soccer City, Craig Meikle, is glad to be up and running: “I’m absolutely delighted. It was October last year when we started clearing the building out, so to finally get the pitches installed and looking great is superb.
“The company that supplies the pitches and fences went bust. We then found it difficult to strike a deal with similar companies. Eventually, we got something back in place that we were happy with and we moved forward from there. It’s all done and dusted now and we are looking forward to playing football.
“There has already been a number of local teams in touch about training here, they are more than welcome. We are going to be holding a league too. But people can just come along for a kickabout with their friends as well.”
Craig added that managing director Kevin Henratty is delighted his “vision” has come true after three years of planning.
Craig, who manages Penicuik Athletic, is happy that local footballers now have somewhere to play come rain or shine.
“I know that there are not enough indoor football facilities locally”, he said.
“And they are needed not just during the winter time – when you look at the summer it’s as bad then too. We had training cancelled this summer because of the heavy rain.
“So to have football indoor and guaranteed to be on is a huge boost to everyone. You are guaranteed the same conditions every time.
“I think it’s great for the football community in Midlothian.”
Craig revealed that Soccer City hope to have a football star return home to officially open the indoor football centre.
He said: “We want to have a soft opening first – get things ironed out.Once we do that, we will look to do an official opening in early December maybe.
“We have been in contact with Darren Fletcher (Mayfield-born Manchester United star) about opening it for us. We also expect Black Diamond FM to broadcast from the opening and we’ll have local councillors there too.”