AFC Knowsley have unveiled new £1.2 million facilities with both the 1st team and under 21s winning their first games at the Lord Derby Pavilion.

It marks the end of a bumpy road for Knowsley after work started in September 2018.

They have suffered multiple vandalism attacks, which have delayed the grand opening.

Knowsley opened the new stadium with a 4-2 win against Middlewich Town on Saturday, while the Under 21s earned a 1-0 win victory in Sunday’s game.

The new ground has been part-funded by housing developer Bellway.

The project includes improved draining and re-seeding new 11, 9 and 7 a-side pitches.

There has also been improved car parking and surfacing, as well as a new pavilion including a kitchen, function room and changing rooms.

First team manager Chris Jones said: “It gives us the opportunity to move up the non-league ladder.

“We are hopeful of getting into the North West County through our league position and now we have a ground with the capability to help us get there.

“Having a first team playing at the highest level possible we hope will give all the young players at the club from Under-7s to Under-21s something to aim for and the opportunity to stay with the club.”

Chairmen Mike Gibbons said: “It now gives us the infrastructure and facilities to compete at all levels.

“Part of the redevelopment we inherited a function which now allows us to reach out to the wider community and and enhance our social values that is at the heart of our culture we have set out.

“It’s now great to be able to focus on the future which is certainly going to be a bright one for all involved with the club.”

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