New playing surface is all set to go for Siddal’s teams
Siddal RLFC will be hoping for pitch perfect performances from their open age and U15s teams on Saturday when they play the first games on the club’s new pitch.
Both sides will take on opposition from Hunslet Club Parkside after completion of the work, which has been years in the planning.
The club received grant funding from Sport England and Rugby League World Cup 2021 but have also contributed £90,000 from their own funds.
This resulted in a significant fundraising effort from Siddal’s junior, open age and masters teams. The U15s raised the most funds from any individual team and their reward is to be the first to play on the new surface.
Chairman Paul Hirst said: “When the revised NCL fixtures came out in the spring we set a target of opening the new pitch on June 5, the date for the Parkside game. It’s always a massive fixture for us and Parkside are well supported when they visit.
“We have a good relationship with them on and off the pitch and in 2019 we had five players each in the Yorkshire side, so the open age lads have plenty of respect for one another.
“When we approached Parkside to ask if we could switch the U15s game from Sunday to a Saturday, they co-operated immediately so we are very grateful to them.”
The new pitch has reduced the slope on the old Chevinedge playing strip and is both longer and wider. The surface is grass, but underneath there is a layer of fibre which makes the pitch harder wearing.
This means that the surface should be able to be used for at least 25 hours each week, allowing Siddal to train exclusively on their home pitch, saving thousands of pounds each year on what was previously spent on hiring external facilities.
In addition, the club have plans to hire out the pitch for use by other clubs, including football teams. The pitch benefits from newly installed floodlighting, which Siddal hope to use for evening kick-offs at some point in the future. They also have plans to form girls and ladies teams as part of the development programme agreed with The RFL.