FOOTBALL: Frome to make landmark 3G switch
FROME Town have announced plans to introduce a 3G pitch to thei Aldermsith Stadium.
Chairman Jeremy Alderman explained: “It has been well known for the last few years that the town has needed a 3G pitch in order to be able for both children and adults to be able to train and play football.
"As a Community Club we have decided, after talks with the Football Association and the Somerset FA that the best option for the town as a whole would be for that 3G pitch to be installed at the stadium.
"There have been other sites identified within the town but concerns have been lodged by several parties over them and with the majority of the infrastructure already in place it makes us a logical choice.
"There has been lots of talk over the last few years but nothing seems to have moved on to any great extent which has been a real disappointment which is why we have now stepped in and want to look to complete things as quickly as possible - we believe this move will be in the best interests of the town, all those who play football and Frome Town FC.
"This type of facility will also provide full time employment for people so we will also be creating jobs.
"Since I became involved in the club my ambition has always been to try and get Frome Town to the Conference and that ambition hasn’t changed”.
Club secretary Ian Pearce added: “Over the last couple of months there has been a significant change towards the attitude on 3G pitches and just a day after we made our own decision earlier this week the FA also announced its backing for the surfaces and it appears will now be changing its rules to allow them to be used in all FA competitions which is a big change.
"I had a lengthy talk with Oliver Ash at Maidstone United who has been working tirelessly to get the Football Conference to change their rules to allow them to be used within their leagues and with the news that the FA are keen to see them used more it should only be a matter of time before they are widely accepted.
"While that is still being worked out it gives us the chance to be able to put everything in place, one of the biggest advantages is it means we won’t have the issues of postponing matches which significantly hits our income as games are always better supported on a Saturday than a midweek and with the weather getting worse every winter it also means we don’t end up with a fixture backlog which fortunately we haven’t had to contend with yet”
Manager Adrian Foster backed the club's decision:
He said: “Although I am a traditionalist I can see why the club want to go down this route and I have spoken to the chairman who has explained the board's thoughts on it.
"Obviously it will benefit the style of play we have tried to bring to the Club as it will give us a perfect surface and will also allow us as a club to develop our community work which is something I am keen to help be a part of so I can see this being a really good long term move as it also gives me a bit of time to be able to put everything together so when promotion is a possibility we will be ready to go.
"I joined Frome because of the ambition they have as it matches my own as a manager so with our aim of promotion next season it would be extremely frustrating to be blocked because of obstacles put in our way by the Conference.
"I truly hope that they allow 3G pitches into their competition and follow the apparent route of the FA by endorsing them so not only will the club and the local community benefit from an excellent facility but as a team we can progress without any barriers in the way”.
Frome are now looking to put a timetable in place while work has already started in obtaining quotes for the works.
MORE ON THIS STORY IN NEXT WEEK'S WILTSHIRE TIMES