Questions remain over 3G pitches, says Shay groundsman

Graham Osbourne and Mark Hans at the Shay Stadium.
Graham Osbourne and Mark Hans at the Shay Stadium.

Shay groundsman Graham Osbourne is sceptical about the use of 3G pitches in the Conference after a vote in favour of them from Football League owners.

The use of 3G pitches in English league football moved a step closer after Leagues One and Two in the Football League voted in favour of them at the Football League’s Owners’ and Executives’ Conference.

Plastic pitches were banned from English professional football in 1995 but the FA Cup will allow 3G pitches to be used starting from next season but they were vetoed by member of the clubs of the Conference earlier this year.

The Shay groundsman said: “I prefer grass surfaces myself. I think they’re great for training and they have got their place.

“At the end of the day, everyone thinks they’re money-saving, which they are in a way.

“But then you’ve got to spend quite a lot to get one and then you’ll have to replace it in six or seven years so you’re going to have to find another half-a-million for that.

“I played on Preston’s and Oldham’s when they were AstroTurf and they were awful.

“You could kick a ball from one end to the other and it’d just carry on rolling.

“It was like playing on the side of a matchbox as well. If you fell on it you’d take the skin on your knee off.

“Below the Conference or possibly up to the Conference I think they’re a good idea.

“But I don’t know if they save money in the long-term.”