ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Friday night lights? Well, not really. Constant lighting issues among other problems have been plaguing Foley Field. Now, an Albany youth football coach is trying to pool resources to get the field he played on as a child, up and running. 

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“They’re well overdue for an upgrade, whether it’s just replacing the bulbs or the entire fixtures and poles” Charles Chandler told NEWS10’s Zion Decoteau.

Foley Field’s aging light fixtures were around before Chandler started football here as a child in 1989. He’s now youth football coordinator and coach for the local Pop Warner league team. You might not be able to tell now, but at night, this field is dark.

“Half of them work, and they’re really not bright enough to like to field sufficiently” he said.

The city of Albany sent over some temporary lights for night games, but Chandler is hoping for a more permanent solution. NEWS10 reached out to the Mayor’s office whose chief of staff said they’re doing research to see who owns the light fixtures in order for them to be replaced. 

But it’s not just the lights. The lack of an adequate restroom for the children causes them to have to walk the distance of two city blocks to the nearby rec center. That’s why Chandler is thankful the city sent over a pair of porta potties.

“It may not mean much to some people but it’s huge to us because we can have the players come right here. They don’t need to be supervised by the parents. The coaches can keep an eye on them. They can use the restroom and get back on the field in a timely manner, as opposed to what they were doing the last several years” the football coach said.

But from talking to Coach Chandler you can tell it’s not just about these trivial fixes. It’s about getting a new generation of children to play the game he loves, on the field he loves. The field he says kept him off the streets.

“This field was always a safe place for me to come to. And it was always a pick me up. And I want that to be the case for someone else growing up in the neighborhood” he said.

For Coach Charles Chandler, preserving the legacy of this large rectangular field brings things full circle in his life.

“That’s part of the reason I came back to coach again because those memories don’t die” he said. “There’s nothing I’d rather do will be here with the children”, Chandler added.

NEWS 10 is in contact with the city of Albany, regarding coach Chandler’s request to have one of the sheds on the field converted into a public restroom.