Horsham to follow Maidstone’s lead with new 3G pitch

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Horsham Football Club’s annual torment of postponed matches could be a thing of the past according to updated plans for their new ground.

The Hornets plan to build two 3G artificial pitches at their proposed new home at Hop Oast, one of which will be used as the main pitch for first team games, and a secondary playing surface for training and community use.

It represents a shift in thinking from the original plans to install one 3G pitch for training and community use, outside the ground.

The potential cost could be around £750,000 plus £200,000 surface replacement costs every 12 to 14 years.

And for Hornets manager Simon Colbran, who saw Tuesday’s match against Whitstable postponed due to a waterlogged Gorings Mead pitch, it could be the ideal solution to fixture disruption.

“A new astroturf pitch would definitely be positive for getting more games on. At the moment we have been having to train at Crawley Town’s 3G pitch and indoors at Collyer’s as there is nowhere like that in Horsham.

“Playing on those pitches suits footballing teams as it’s a heavier bounce and rolls off pretty easy. That is the way I like to play.”

Chairman Kevin Borrett said the benefit of following the lead of clubs such as Ryman South leaders Maidstone United, who have a 3G pitch at their new Gallagher Stadium, would not just be felt on the pitch.

He said: “The advantage of this kind of pitch is because of the English weather. It brings a lot more certainty that matches will be on. We have estimated we lose £1,000 in revenue each time a high profile Saturday game is called off.

“Artificial pitches have moved on a lot from where they were ten years ago,” he added.

Horsham FC still has to sign an option agreement to buy the land from Horsham Golf & Fitness at Hop Oast before a planning application can be made.

Full story in today’s West Sussex County Times.