With the number of weather-related football postponements increasing every year, several clubs are starting to come up with new initiatives to ensure their pitches are left in a good condition all year round.
AFC Stoneham and Wimborne Town have invested in artificial 3G pitches, benefiting themselves and their communities greatly.
Whilst Wimborne still play their matches on grass pitches, they use the artificial pitches for all training sessions.
Wimborne’s general manager Jimmy Glass said: “It’s great that we can use the 3G pitches for different training sessions, from the men’s team all the way down to our youth teams.
“Especially for young kids who come here to train, it’s great that they have access to play football every week, regardless of the weather or any other difficulties; so, as a club we’re really happy to be able to provide that.”
Local fan Freddie McDonnell is extremely happy with the new facilities. He said: “In the three years since it’s been built, it’s been great to see loads of different people using the pitches and it’s improving the level of football across the club.”
On the other hand, Stoneham use their artificial pitches for all matches and training sessions.
Full-time chairman Mark Stupple said: “We’ve had the 3G pitches for nearly four years now and as a result we’ve gone from having 39 teams to 108 teams, spanning across both genders and all age groups, with multiple different squads training simultaneously.”
Their recent Wessex league clash away to Fareham Town was postponed at the last minute due to Fareham’s waterlogged pitch.
Stupple said: “We understand that we’re lucky to have such facilities and not all clubs can financially afford it, but it really is the best way forward with climate change getting worse every year.”
These resilient surfaces are not only weather-resistant but also provide a reliable playing environment for clubs, players, and fans across all levels of football.