Sunday 1 April 2012

Tooting & Mitcham United

Tooting & Mitcham United are a Ryman League Premier Division side, well up until a few weeks ago, as they have just been relegated back to Division One South, having been temporarily in a higher division than Dulwich Hamlet. In fact their brief two year stay in the Premier have been the only two years they have been above us in a higher division since way back in the last century!

But this is an 'impartial' blog about grounds, so it's not for me to have sneaky wipes at the old 'Thugs & Muggers' as they are affectionately known! ;-)

Their Imperial Fields ground (or Venereal Fields, as I like to call it!) is actually one of the better one for a 'modern' new build,it has a half decent stand, & both ends have good high terracing, with some cover, albeit not that good in rain, as the ends have no back to them.

Anyway, make your own minds up, these pictures were taken in 2010, at a pre-season match against a young AFC Bournemouth XI.

Personally it's one of my favourite grounds, as Dulwich Hamlet have NEVER, EVER lost there since it was built!

And in case you're is NOT a coincidence that I have used the April Fools date to publish this set of ground pictures! ;-)

The entrance to the ground, from the main road.

AFC Bournemouth youth team visit for a pre-season friendly...& they had the cheek to charge a tenner!

A board for the non-footballing side. Since wound up, & replacing by something similar, but not giving a penny to the football side, as I understand it, an outfit in a mess, which is why they went back down.

Club intials on one tatty gate...

Ryman board on the the other, note the 'United' id left out of the initials, rather apt, the way their set up is! Not the cabin in the background...

A derelict portakabin, not making the place look that nice at all.

These buildings back onto their all-weather pitches, the main ground further up the car park.

Here we are, the main building ahead being the main stand, changing rooms & associated leisure buildings that was 'The Hub'.

This is the all-weather pitch, currently being relaid with a state of the art surface this summer.

The back of the stand is in their club colours, black & white stripes.

A recycling centre on site...bearing in mind the amount of players they got through last season...not a bad idea! ;-)

The turnstiles, in the corner of the ground.

Going through them, straight ahead is the tea bar.

Also a toilet block, you can see the terracing behind the goal, beyond.

A better view of this end, from the corner.

Corner flag pic, open side in background, & identical cover at the far end.

Down the side to our left, it's open hard standing, leading up to the main stand, with some picnic type tables dotted about. This is the way we will head, clockwise round the ground.

Getting closer to the seats.

From the side we look back to the 'turnstile corner' end.

Moving on, in front of the main stand.

Directly in front of the stand are the dugouts.

The stand from just on the pitch.

Across the seats, from the side.

Looking down, over the pitch, from the back,toward the far end.

Up in the stand, over the halfway line.

Press seats at the back.

From the press area, turning to our right.

The tunnel & dugouts below us.

And now eyes to the left.

At the back of the stand is another refreshment area.

In the middle, up to the press seats.

Back down the front once more.

Some of the club initials spelt out in the seating. I find it very strange they've left out the 'U'.

Beyond the stand there is another wide area of open standing. Perfect for developing up into a Football League ground, if ever they wished to extend it, or maybe, another bigger local club might wish to do so, if they want to play in their so-called spiritual heartland of the London Borough of Merton...

From here we are getting closer to the far end, exactly the same as the other one.

Zooming in on the covered section in the centre.

Glancing back at the stand.

The next corner flag picture, you may as well plonk a running track on there, it's so far to the touchline!

Now behind the goal, the terrace is raised above the pitch.

Here we are looking across it, from the top corner.

This 'waste area' behind it has been part of the ground since it opened a decade or so ago. They are now, finally, developing this into a modern all-weather pitch, apparently with some terracing & a stand, which would be ideal if a bigger club movede in to 'share' the main ground...conspiracy theories abound among their support...

Up at the back of the terrace.

Moving forward a few steps, the narrow open side in the background.

At the front, behind the goal, looking down to the other end.

Behind the post, main stand side.

Turning round, to head toward the next corner.

The end of the terrace view, from this end.

Another corner flag angle, main stand at the rear, this time.

Simple open hard standing doen the full length of this narrow open side.

But there are two narrow steps of terrace in the centre.

Across the halfway line, toward the stand.

And onward to the last corner.

Flat, after the two steps have stopped.

At the corner now, the same style good terracing.

The final corner flag photograph.

Up on this terrace now, facing the open side.

And to the left, along the terrace.

Down below, behind us is the old all-weather area.

Up on the terrace, directly behind the goal.

On the open section, toward the corner where we began, & that's where we finish.

Just a picture or two of the game.


Unknown said...

Really enjoyed your wonderful blog and was astounded by the amount of grounds you have visited and the quality of the photos. Hope you enjoy my account of your arch rivals Tooting.

Will be doing one on Dulwich hopefully when they play Palace next month.

Rabbler said...

I never enjoy reading about the thugs & muggers! ;-)
I'll be behind the goal at some stage, feel free to ask someone who I am, if you want to say hello. I may be a little late, as I'm flying back from Hamburg that day, & my flight is due back at Luton Airport at 5.50pm. Bit of a mad dash back to Champion Hill...