Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Too much football for pitches

WARGRAVE’S football teams have become “a victim of their own success” as they are running out of space to expand.

Parish clerk Stephen Hedges said there were no longer enough pitches to cope with the number of youth games being played on Saturday mornings.

Speaking at a meeting of Wargrave Parish Council, he said: “There is a short supply of pitches in the area but we cannot cope with any more.

“We can’t push the games into the afternoon. League rules state that boys’ football has to start by 9am and the last match must start before noon.

“Girls’ football is 9.30am to noon and we have to have space in between the games as well.”

Mr Hedges said the number of matches should be limited to 14 in order to give the nine pitches time to recover.

“When we had 14 games recently, there were no issues,” he said. “I suggest that we impose a limit for the time being and if it becomes a bigger problem, we can deal with it.

“It will give the pitches some time to recover.”

Wargrave Women and Girls’ Football Club is the second-biggest female-only football club in the country, with two women’s teams and age group squads down to under-sixes. Wargrave Wolves have 16 youth teams down to under-sixes.

Mr Hedges added: “Both the boys and the girls have been victims of their own success. There are 10 11-a-side teams and that is just the juniors.

“If there is a problem in the future, we will have to seriously consider the future of the football and how we go forward. If there is a shortage, they will have to seek pitches elsewhere.

“There is going to be a problem in two years when there is a surge in demand, but they have got time and they are contacting organisations in the area to see if they can use their pitches.”

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