0 Manager hits out at danger pitches

The manager of an under-17s Bolton Boys Federation team has criticised the standard of council-owned football pitches across the town, claiming they are a danger to players.

Although Tony Wolstencroft , who coaches Great Lever FC, is happy with the state of their Cotefield Avenue pitch, he said that other surfaces in the borough were "an obvious health hazard".

He said: "We only play between eight and 12 games a season on a pitch, and for this we pay between £190 to £300.

"We recently played at Captains Clough on Moss Bank Park. How this can be classed as a football pitch is totally beyond me. It was full of potholes, divots and dips.

"If you stood at one side of the pitch and the ball goes to the other side, it disappeared. This was due to there being a mound of grass in front of one of the goalmouths.

"This so-called pitch needs digging up, levelling off and relaying by someone who knows that they are doing.

"The two pitches on Leverhulme Park are always waterlogged, full of holes and divots and the Newhouse Farm pitches, which are relatively new, are in a poor condition.

"Some of these pitches are dangerous and should be repaired as soon as possible."

Mr Wolstencroft also said that while he was happy with the state of the Cotefield Avenue facility, dog mess had to be cleared off it every time it was used.

A spokesperson for Bolton Council said: "We have made significant investment in sports pitches in recent years, including £500,000 at Newhouse Farm and Harper Green playing fields, including improved drainage.

"Last year, the council also announced plans to spend £200,000 to improve the condition of 44 football pitches in the town and purchased specialist equipment for spiking and rolling pitches to repair imperfections and improve drainage.

"Unfortunately, we have not yet experienced the full benefit of using this equipment as the maintenance of pitches has been hampered by the wet summer and the recent cold weather.

"However, we are currently working on plans for investing in two other major sites in the borough - Scholes Bank at Horwich and Hulton Lane, off Wigan Road.

"We allocate pitches to the local football leagues and they, in turn, allocate these to individual teams, some of whom request specific pitches, which means that we do not have any direct control over the number of games played on a pitch in any one week."

Source:-The Bolton News

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