Poole Town: National League South club pass ground grading to stay in division

Poole Town's Tatnam Recreation Ground
Poole Town were promoted from the Southern League last season to National League South

Poole Town have avoided demotion from National League South after passing a Football Association ground grading assessment.

The sixth-tier club were supported by ex-player Charlie Austin in a bid to raise £70,000 for ground improvements.

The Dolphins, in their first season in the division, are currently in the promotion play-off places.

"It's a massive relief. The tension over the last few months has been unreal," chairman Chris Reeves said.

Poole have been assured recent improvements to their Tatnam Recreation Ground are sufficient to maintain their status in National League South and satisfy the FA's Category B grading for Step 2 of the non-league pyramid.

But further work would be required should the Dorset club wish to make the step up to the National League if they are successful in the play-offs.

Category A requirements include a minimum capacity of 4,000, which must include a minimum of 500 covered seats and 250 of them in one stand.

Grounds must also have the ability to segregate home and away supporters.

"That step between the two leagues could conceivably be the biggest in the whole football pyramid," Reeves told BBC Radio Solent.

"But we've risen to every challenge so far, so why should the journey stop now? If we can make it better, then we'll just keep going for it."

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