Everton defender Mason Holgate was back on his old stomping grounds to help usher in a new era at AFC Bentley.
The Doncaster born footballer was joined by Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband to officially open a new changing pavilion at Bentley’s The Avenue home.
Holgate was a member of the club as a youngster before joining Barnsley’s youth set up, which ultimately led him to Premier League football with the Toffees.
Bentley chairman Barrie Abbott said: “To see Mason here today is a great inspiration to all the young players we have at the club.
“Hopefully we will see more players come through our club and follow in Mason’s footsteps in the future.”
And Bentley have designs on climbing the English football pyramid themselves, with the hope their new facility will help them with their ultimate goal of reaching the Northern Counties East League.
The Central Midlands League side have replaced dilapidated portable cabins previously used as changing rooms with a new changing pavilion which includes shower facilities, toilets, a kitchen and hospitality area – all thanks to a £50,000 grant from the Premier League, which is delivered through the Football Stadia Improvement Fund – the sister organisation of the Football Foundation.
Abbott said: “The support of the Football Stadia Improvement Fund and the Premier League has helped us to build this fantastic new clubhouse.
“This is an exciting time for everyone involved at the club and I can’t wait for all our players and supporters to start using and enjoying our new facility.”
The club aims to add Under 18 and Under 21 sides to its existing structure, which already includes 16 teams. under the AFC Bentley Academy banner.
The new facilitiy will also allow the club to host cup matches for the Doncaster and District Junior Sunday League.