Footballers hope they are on the verge of returning home if they can raise the final £30,000 to modernise their ground.

For the past three years, Colne Engaine Football Club have been forced to play its games in Braintree and Maldon because facilities at Burches Meadow, in Pebmarsh Road, were deemed to be substandard.

The club have already spent £48,000 building a new pavilion but still need the extra funds to set up the electrics and plumbing inside the building.

The club - which formed in 2005 to replace the original village club, which had folded - is negotiating a lease for the grounds with Colne Engaine Parish Council in the hopes of returning to play at the village either next season or the one after.

Secretary Richard King said that plans could soon come to fruition as long as they received the last amount of money to make the pavilion habitable.

See this week's Halstead Gazette for the full story.