AMBITIOUS Plymouth rugby club Tamar Saracens have suffered a major blow with news that they are going to have to leave their Parkway home at the end of the 2022-23 season.
Plymouth Argyle have agreed a deal in principle to acquire the land at the Parkway Sports & Social Club to turn it into a training facility for the League One side.
Saracens, who have shown their intentions this summer by bringing in Mike Lewis as head coach from Devonport Services, have put a lot of time and effort in over the last few years improving their pitch, with drainage work, building new dugouts and a small stand, a scoreboard and some floodlights.
But now they and fellow Parkway tenants, Lakeside Athletic Football Club, have less than 12 months to find somewhere else to play.
“This will definitely be our last season at the Parkway,” said chairman Dan Leeson.
“It has all come as a bit of a shock really.
“I received a letter from Argyle yesterday inviting us along for a chat. They didn’t mention anything about releasing any statements today, but it has obviously all been released and it all seems to be going at 100 miles an hour now.
“At the end of the day, the Parkway is a business and I think Argyle have been interested in the Parkway for a few years.
“In regards to the Parkway and Argyle it is a great bit of business for them, but it is a pity for us as we had such big plans there.”
He added: “I have got a meeting with Argyle on Monday and they have said they will support us in finding a new home.
“I am trying to look at it with a glass half full attitude and think that it could actually be the making of us. We could find a bit of land somewhere where we can build our own bar and be a self-sufficient rugby club.
“But until we have had all these meetings then everything is just ifs and maybes.
“If we were able to secure ourselves a decent bit of land with a decent lease then avenues open up in terms of funding. If this is handled right, then we could come out of this better but because I have only known about it for a few days it is all very much what ifs and maybes.”
Leeson said: “I have been going down to the Parkway to watch rugby since I was about three years old, watching my dad play down there. It’s not just about the rugby team for me, but it is about the whole facility. And it’s not to the rugby club that’s going but the whole of the Parkway, so it is really sad for me, but I have to put the rugby club first.
“We are there for the remainder of this season and it does not take away from the project we have started with Mike Lewis and the other coaches.”
Tamar Saracens, who will play in the new Counties 3 Devon West League this term, will begin their pre-season campaign at the Parkway on Friday evening when they host higher league Tavistock in a warm-up fixture.
Meanwhile, the Plymouth rugby community has been shocked by the sudden death of Mike Putt on Monday.
Putt, who only recently celebrated his 65th birthday, played and was a long-standing committee member for Old Techs and a big supporter of Plymouth rugby.
Old Techs are liaising with his family about his funeral and plans to celebrate his life.