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Underwood Villa

Venue

Bracken Park, Felley Mill Lane, Underwood

Ground Capacity

 

Home Strip

 Away Strip

 
Seating  

Record Attendance

 
Who are ya? www.underwoodvilla.com
What Division are you in? Villa
Websites Nottinghamshire Senior League Division One

 

You must have come in a taxi

  From M1 J27 - Follow the A608 to Underwood. After 1 mile take 1st left into Felley Mill Lane North. Bracken Park is 50m on your left, and there is a large car park on site.

From Nottingham - Head north out of Nottingham on the A610 for 3.7 miles. At Cinderhill Island, take the 3rd exit onto the B600 Kimberley/ Nuthall. Pass under M1 bridge, then take the 1st right, continuing on the B600. Travel 5.1 miles through Moorgreen until you reach the M1 sign in Underwood. Turn right onto the A608 (Mansfield Rd). Take 2nd right Felley Mill Lane North (Opposite Sandhills Pub). Bracken Park is 50m on your left, and there is a large car park on site.

From Mansfield - Head south on the A60 for 1.4 miles. turn right onto the A611. After 4.5 miles, turn right onto A608 towards M1. At 3rd roundabout take 2nd exit for A608 Underwood. After 1 mile take 1st left into Felley Mill Lane North. Bracken Park is 50m on your left, and there is a large car park on site.

Trentbarton - Rainbow 1 (Nottingham - Alfreton) stops on Alfreton Road in Underwood. It's then a short stroll up Mansfield Road to the ground.

 

  Newstead - 3.5 miles (Robin Hood Line) or Alfreton - 6 miles (Central Trains)

 

For a map of the location, Click here.

 

My garden shed is bigger than this

"The old hills, no longer used, were turning grey and their sides were cracked wide open and dotted with patches of weeds which would soon be flowering into tall red willowherb and yellow ragwort daisies, an incongruous gaiety in that desolate land".

Out of Darkness by E. G. Thorpe

This notion of beauty blossoming out of the ashes of the derelict old pits on the Notts & Derbyshire border perfectly befits Bracken Park - home to Underwood Villa Football Club.  When Underwood pit closed 1985, the townsfolk were not about to let their pride in their community disintegrate. Bracken Park is testimony to this.

The new millennium has signalled a period of sustainable success for Villa - both on and off the pitch. Between 2004 - 2007, Villa faired well at the top end of the Midland Amateur Alliance, most notably winning the MAA Senior Cup in 2006.

After finishing fifth in the MAA Premier Division, the Villa senior team decided to join the NSL for the 2007/08 campaign. Having become an F.A. Charter Standard club due to its dedication to developing local youth football they were also rewarded for their endeavours in developing local youth talent in the area, being named both Notts & East Midlands Development Charter Standard Club Of The Year for 2006.

The entrance to the ground is on Felley Mill Lane, upon which local hero D. H. Lawrence's lover, Jessie Chambers, resided. You can't fail to miss the entrance thanks to a large welcoming sign, proudly alluring to Villa's Charter Mark status. From here the world opens up somewhat, as you enter a large rusty coloured car park with the football pitch evident down a slope ahead of you.

Lawrence referred to this part of the world as "the country of my heart" and it is clear to see the attraction. Villa's home is hidden by hedgerows from the main Mansfield to Eastwood road on one side and bordered by the park which bears it's name to the other.  The only blight on the landscape of this western outpost of Nottinghamshire is perhaps the various array of outbuildings at the top of the slope behind the Felley Mill Lane End. Here, an array of unsightly porter cabins hosting, among other things, the players and officials changing rooms, slowly decay (helped along by the occasional spot of vandalism).

There is however, one building of note, the likes of which you're unlikely to find anywhere else in the county, and perhaps beyond. The clubhouse is housed in a most unusual brick building with a continuous curved roof. This is covered entirely in shiny navy blue corrugated sheeting with the front of the building encased and extended by a metal navy blue structure. At the front of the building, the club have attached a well lit covered canopy, held aloft by five wooden stanchions with hard standing beneath. From here spectators are afforded excellent views of the action below. Also from here leads a staircase down the slope to the pitch below for the player sto make a dramatic entrance.

The pitch itself is entirely surrounded by a modern concrete and metal poll pitchside rail. The only pitchside furniture on offer are the two dug outs on the Mansfield Road side of the ground. These are twinned, containing both home and away dug outs. The structures are made from breezeblock and are adequately roofed. However, whilst well made they offer little room for comfort.

At half time, or should the game be passing you by, you can always take yourself off for a leisurely stroll round Bracken Park. you may even find a discarded football or two.

Future Plans

None disclosed

 

Additional Photography

                                                 

            

 Click on a thumbnail to view a full size picture.

Christopher Rooney  - permission required for photo & text usage

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