The other thoughts were the ones shared by everyone else who wished we'd never left Rockingham Road. Sure the place seemed even more ramshackle than it did for the pre-season friendly against Southampton. The terraces looked dishevelled and sad. The stand looked to be festering. The bar was dark and uninviting. In almost every measurable way Non Park is a superior sporting arena.
Except it's not OUR ground, and for anyone of my generation, or even a generation either side of mine I suspect, it never will be. Non Park is a ground with too much baggage, too many rooms, too costly to upkeep, too sterile, and too far away from Kettering. The effort needed to generate the income to maintain Non Park makes you wonder what is the point of being there. If 80% of what the club needs to drag in simply pays for the stadium, you have to ask is this better than earning a lot less and keeping the Poppies where they belong?
Whilst Rockinhgam Road exists, somewhere in the back of my mind I still can't shake off the belief we'll be back there one day, and look back on "Project Non Park" as some kind of temporary nightmare. £164,000 rent PLUS running costs often (probably inaccurately) quoted at £1,000 per day for Non Park, against probably £70,000 per annum plus a brolly for standing on Cowper Street for Rockingham Road.
Three terraces. A main stand. Floodlights. Changing rooms. Public bar. Rocky Road has all these. At our level, what more do we need?
|Rocky Road, still fit for purpose? |
With thanks to http://tims92.blogspot.co.uk/ for the photograph