THE FIVE senior football teams in Thurrock have over a hundred games to play between now and the end of April.
The dreadful weather conditions have seen the fixtures pile up to such a degree that some teams are now looking at three games per week.
Grays Athletic have 23 games left to play, East Thurrock United have 19, Tilbury have 21, Aveley 22 and Thurrock have 21.
For some teams, this is not a problem as they simply replace training sessions with fixtures. However, times are tight and there is a concern that when games do get played, the energy sapping conditions could lead to an injury pile up.
The conditions are doubly bad for Thurrock, Aveley and Grays Athletic who have ground-sharing arrangements.
YT’s sister paper YourHarlow has seen the benefits of the 3G pitch that Harlow Town play on. The Hawks however have played 17 home games and 11 away games. However, the benefits of such a surface are clear for all to see.
3G pitches are a no brainer as far as non league football is concerned not only in terms of being playable in all conditions but more importantly as a source of revenue.Pitches can be used 7 days a week providing a much needed income stream for clubs.
Unfortunately we have to deal with the blazers at the FA and Football Conference who will not countenance 3g pitches above the Ryman League leading to clubs being reluctant to install 3g as promotion to the Conference and further will be blocked.
The simple answer to the current fixture pile up is to extend the season but once again the blazers at the Ryman League flatly refuse to do so which means clubs will be playing up to 3 games per week.