RAF Akrotiri Football Club and neighbouring Akrotiri FC, played out a hard-fought 3-3 draw last week in the newly renovated stadium in the village.
The friendly match, which played a key role in both sides pre-season preparations, not only gave players the opportunity to test their fitness levels ahead of what is sure to be a gruelling season ahead but it was also a chance for both sides and spectators to see the maintenance work which has been undertaken in recent months.
The relationship between the Station side and Akrotiri FC has grown considerably over the years and according to the newly-appointed RAF Akrotiri manager, Flight Sergeant ‘Spike’ McKee, personnel were more than happy to lend a hand with the renovation work.
He said: “We have been working together to improve the training and match facilities at the Akrotiri stadium ahead of the new season and our players and coaching staff from RAF Akrotiri FC were more than happy to offer their services to paint the steps at the Akrotiri FC Stadium.
“Coupled with this, the Station has been assisting with maintenance and repairs to the grounds and I hope that both teams and the spectators will benefit in the upcoming season and that they saw the fruits of our labour when the two teams met for the pre-season fixture at the ground.”
RAF Akrotiri FC, who are the current holders of the Cyprus Major Units League, which is due to kick-off in September, felt being able to utilise the ground would put them in a great position to start the defence of their title next month.
Flight Sergeant McKee continued: “To be able to play some pre-season matches on a great playing surface and in a lovely stadium so close to the base is fantastic. The players and staff were more than willing to give up their own time to assist with the painting of the steps and we even got to watch the opposition train whilst doing it.”
Squadron Leader Paul Harrap, the Chairman of the Cyprus Services Football, was also keen to stress that this was an arrangement that he hoped to see continue well into the future.
He said: “We are delighted at the opportunity to work so closely with Akrotiri FC to improve the stadium’s facilities and we very much look forward to playing many games there.”
Those words were echoed by the Akrotiri FC president, Andros Georgiou, who said: “As neighbours it is very important to maintain a good relationship. It is great to see that football is helping us to do this.”
RAF Akrotiri are now scheduled to play against the Apollon Limassol Under-19 side on September 30.