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Frome’s bid for state-of-the-art 3G football pitch

FROME Town Football Club has made a landmark decision to look into the introduction of an artificial 3G surface at the AlderSmith Stadium to replace the current natural grass pitch.

A 3G or third generation surface would mean games could be played all year round in all weathers and the facilities would also be open for use by all clubs in the town.

3G is a long piled tufted carpet that has rubber and sand infill. It looks like grass and offers exceptional ball bounce but is durable and hardwearing and can used all day, every day, which is why they are now becoming increasingly popular.

The decision marks a significant change for the club, which 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 a 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 and 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.”

With the decision to install a 3G pitch it means the club will be unable to gain a further promotion at the current time but club Secretary Ian Pearce was confident it would not hold the Robins back for long.

He said, “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. Also, 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.”

Community development officer Gary Collinson was delighted with the news saying, “It’s just what the town needs and to dispel any myths or rumours before they start a key message is that this will be open to use by all clubs and not just Frome Town – we have so many of our own youth teams playing out of town because of lack of facilities but this will mean that we will be able to provide far more for the community now on so many levels. It also shows that the club really does embrace its community philosophy by putting the town first ahead of its own ambitions of further promotions.

“However, it doesn’t mean the ambition isn’t still there within the club and we believe this is a way of helping us get to where we want to be. Clubs in this town pay large fees for substandard training facilities and we will have a facility available to everybody with a state-of-the-art surface and all the additional benefits attached like changing rooms and toilets.”