Sudbury stadium set for all weather 3G pitch

AFC Sudbury in action against Harlow

AFC Sudbury in action against Harlow - Credit: Gregg Brown

Non-league football club AFC Sudbury is a step closer to being the first in the county to get an all-weather artificial surface on its main pitch that will enable matches to be played there seven days a week.

The club, which is based in Brundon Lane, has just submitted a proposal for the scheme to the district council.

Up until now, players have experienced ongoing problems with waterlogging and mud that has meant the pitch can only be used twice a week and has led to matches being cancelled.

It is hoped that the new ‘3G’ or ‘Third Generation’ artificial turf pitch – which is created using synthetic fibres and rubbers made to look like grass – will be installed in time for the 2015/16 season.

Maidstone United and Harlow Town, which both play in the Ryman League along with AFC Sudbury, have already swapped grass for all-weather synthetic surfaces.

According to AFC director, Richard Instance, the new pitch is a way of expanding the club.

He said: “At the moment, the grass pitch at the main stadium will only take two games per week but when it is changed to 3G we will be able to play seven days a week.

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“This will mean that we can get more community use down there including getting the schools involved and also our youth teams, which currently can’t play at the ground.”

The cost of installing the pitch will be around £350,000 which has come from a number of fundraising ideas within the club.

Mr Instance believes it will be a great investment – not only for the club but for the town of Sudbury as a whole.

Plans are to set up a five-a-side team, walking football for the over-50s and more youth teams.

Mr Instance added: “I have met with contractors this morning and we are now waiting for planning consent, which we should get an answer to by May 8.

“All being well, work should start shortly after that and the pitch should be ready for use at the beginning of next season.

“We like to think we have the best club house in the county and now we are looking to have the best pitch to match.”

Sudbury opticians, Wardale Williams, is currently the club’s main sponsor.

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