Ramsgate Knights U15s boys team have played their first game at Warre Rec since the club secured it as a home ground.
The Knights now have bases at Dame Janet, where the younger teams play, and the Warre Rec, behind Ramsgate Fire Station.
The club will maintain the land, clear litter and pay a small fee to the council.
The U15s won 2-0 in their match against Monkton.
They were watched by Central Harbour Green councillor Becky Wing, who said: “This initiative demonstrates how passionate locals and TDC can work together to make something really special happen and in so doing bring positive benefits to many and the environment.
“Indeed, this area is often blighted by anti-social behaviour and rubbish, so much so that is was fast becoming unpleasant and did not really seem to have a function. Steve and his team of volunteers at Ramsgate Knights knew that this was the perfect location for their club and so approached TDC who are allowing them to use the land for a small fee.
“The club will maintain the land, including clearing litter and dog poo, mark their own pitches out and put up the goals, so a ‘win, win’ situation for all, but especially the boys and girls that play and train on this facility.
“Saturday was really special, the area suddenly had a function with players and spectators out in force and involved in sport. The young players went about their business with skill, determination, great effort and I have to say, more professionalism than you see in most top flight football. It ended with a 2-0 win for Ramsgate Knight’s so was a perfect day.
“As an ex-PE teacher of 26 years, it really was fabulous to see the end result of much hard work by Steve Rose and his team, all volunteers who are just so keen to do something positive for young people through sport. It is these small projects that we as councillors and locals should support, they may not make a great deal of money, if any, but the ‘social and environmental profit’ is there for all to see.”
It is hoped that the rejuvenation at the rec will now extend to the skatepark.
Maxine Morgan, from the Ramsgate Skatepark Project, said: “We have been pushing this to go ahead for the past six months with both TDC councillors and officers, KCC and Craig Mackinlay.
“It can only be a win win situation for the whole area. It will also hopefully highlight how terrible under-maintained the rest of the park is, including the skatepark/”
Find more about the Ramsgate Knights here