WORCESTER Raiders bosses “are confident” of finally returning to Claines Lane on Saturday with ground inspectors due to drop by tomorrow (Friday).

Temporary facilities have been put in place for the rest of the season following delays to redevelopment work by landowners and site managers Worcestershire FA.

It meant Raiders started a first season in the West Midlands (Regional) League (WMRL) Premier Division with two months of away fixtures, a run that got extended when the project that was due to be finished by the end of September ran into difficulties.

WMRL chairperson Wendy Juggins said the club had special dispensation from the national FA to circumvent ground grading regulations while redevelopment work took place with Raiders due to install basic necessities in order to play from Claines Lane once the development got held up.

Having found the costs prohibitive, Raiders secured a deal to temporarily play from Nunnery Wood Sports Complex in October 2019.

READ MORE | Raiders to play from Nunnery Wood

Arrangements have since been made to put in temporary changing, shower and toilet facilities for the teams and match officials with separate toilets for supporters.

And committee member Stephen Harris believes that should be enough to see Raiders through to the end of 2019-20, starting with tomorrow’s home league clash with Cradley Town (3pm).

"It is basically the temporary accommodation and a walkway to the pitch to get the grading for now," said Harris, who confirmed the extra work would be graded once the county association completes its work ahead of next season.

“As long as the FA is happy with what we have done, and I think they will be, we are confident it will go through.

“The bulk of the work we have been doing is with an eye on the future, putting in concrete pathways.

“All of the committee members deserve a massive thank you, particularly Dave Cornes, Chris’s brother, Chris, Karl Gormley and everyone really. A lot of graft has gone in.

“He has been helping us with the concrete work free of charge. Everyone at the club has volunteered their services, we know what we have to do and that we have to push to do it ourselves.”

Worcestershire FA recently secured up to £750,000 of loans facilitated by Worcester City Council to get the original work completed, despite football development manager Martin Collier having said finances “are not the issue” behind the delays in July 2019.

READ MORE | A "number of factors" behind Claines Lane delays (from July 2019)

“From what we’re told work will start on the foundations for the clubhouse at the back end of next week,” added Harris.

When asked about the dispensation, Worcestershire FA chief executive Nichola Trigg said "all in line with the regulations published by the (national) FA" and declined to comment further.

The FA has been contacted by Worcester News to clarify whether the special dispensation remains in place or Raiders need Claines Lane to meet the FA's G grade by March 31 this year to avoid relegation.