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Play on the Pitch - Notts County FC
The Play on the Pitch days that take place at Pride Park each May came about by a chance phone call in 2009 by the then Newhall Tigers U13s Manager Paul Cantrill to Derby County . Paul had heard about Pride Park being ‘hired ‘ out for corporate use where companies got to use the pitch for a friendly game of football for their staff and clients .
Paul’s tentative enquiry was a more personal one as the U13 Tigers of that year had won Division 2 of the BJFL and he was looking at what he could do to celebrate the boys achievements . Initially this was just an optimistic phone call but as details of the pitch availability emerged it became apparent that this was something tangible that could be achieved and furthermore could accommodate a Coaches v Steve Poxons U16 Tigers match to celebrate this team coming to the end of their time in junior football .
Time was against all involved but a mammoth Newhall effort saw Derby tickets distributed and sold in a matter of weeks and our slot for Saturday May 9th was secured .
As a Club I don’t think we quite understood just how accommodating Derby would be and the day was beyond our expectations . The football was irrelevant but for the record the Tigers U13s beat their Dads XI and the Tigers U16s beat the Coaches XI – somewhat comfortably I might add .
For these young men to be able to use the Professional dressing rooms , enter the field to the blare of the tannoy with their teams name on the scoreboard I find simply amazing and as a Club we cannot thank Derby County enough for their generosity in opening up the stadium and welcoming us in . Our side of the deal is to sell tickets for the Derby games and hopefully produce a few Rams fans of tomorrow – a pretty good deal in our eyes .
Since the inaugural matches in 2009 the Newhall Coaches and parents have done battle against Ray Locks Tigers in 2010 , Dave Kitson’s Lions and Kev Lees Tigers in 2011 , Debbie Delaney’s Lions and Paul Cantrill’s Tigers in 2012 . Sadly I have to report that the Newhall Coaches/Parents have yet to secure a victory but have managed a couple of goals in recent seasons .
We hope the Play on the Pitch days continue for many years to come as it’s a fantastic send off for our young men and ladies . A lot of organisation goes into making those few hours happen both on the Newhall side but also from the Derby County sales team – to all of whom we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks .