Sunderland West End manager hails club’s return to their Ford Quarry home
West End secured promotion from the Wearside League and competed in their first ever season as a Northern League club using a temporary home at Nissan Sports Complex.
That move to Washington was necessitated by the creation of a new football hub at Ford Quarry funded by The Football Foundation, Football Association and Sunderland City Council.
The hub will also house West End - who have also invested in their new home – as they embark on their second season in the Northern League’s second tier.
They should have been marking their return to Ford Quarry on Friday night when Easington Colliery were scheduled to visit for a league game.
But the Football Association’s decision to bring a premature end to the 2019/20 season means that West End will have to wait until the authorities give the all-clear to make their debut in their new home.
But Liddle insisted it would be worth the wait as he expressed his hopes that their return can help usher in a positive future for everyone connected with the club.
He told The Echo: “The ground is finished, and we could have been in there on Friday night against Easington Colliery.
“But the big thing is that it’s finished, and it’s now handed over to us.
“Having our own home is massive for our plans for the future because the committee have worked hard to make this happen.
“They have been huge for us, and this has been four years in the making really.
“We’ve all worked hard getting funds for turnstiles, stands and other things that were needed – but we have done that ourselves and it’s paid off.
“Playing at Nissan has hindered us because it’s a bit soulless and I don’t believe it’s a home for a football club.
“We probably lost over 100 on our gates and it was difficult to get players to sign because they’d have to play there.
“But now we are back in the city, we have a home and hopefully it can become a bit of a fortress for next season.”