Plastic isn’t fantastic for Garstang FC boss

Garstang manager Lee Baker
Garstang manager Lee Baker

Garstang manager Lee Baker has questioned the worth of artificial playing surfaces as the season draws to a conclusion.

The Riversiders’ played on one such pitch last month when they won 3-1 at St Helens Town.

However, it was a match where the choice of surface meant the Riversiders’ boss had to tweak his line-up.

Baker explained: “Alan Coar was left out because he had just come back from an ankle injury.

“It wasn’t worth risking him on that type of surface; we weren’t playing for the league or anything like that.

“We had to think of the lad because he didn’t need any extra time off work because of the surface we were playing on.”

St Helens are not the only team to play on an artificial surface in the Hallmark Security League, with title chasers Avro also using a similar pitch.

They are also used at a higher level, most notably in Scotland with a quarter of the top-flight clubs – Hamilton Academical, Livingston and Kilmarnock – deploying a synthetic surface.

A PFA Scotland petition earlier in the year brought a unanimous response from players against the use of such surfaces.

Further afield, pitches in the Netherlands have previously been ripped up because of health concerns.

“Avro have had a number of injuries on that surface,” Baker said.

“I think there is something to be said when the SPL clubs are talking about them.

“I’ve done some reading around on the subject and, in Holland, they are ripping every single pitch up because of injuries for the youth and academy lads.

“I don’t think those pitches are all they are cracked up to be.”