SFA in artifical pitches survey

THE Scottish Football Association and PFA Scotland have teamed up to carry out the biggest-ever survey on articifial surfaces in our game.

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As part of the SFA's strategic plan, Scotland United: A 2020 Vision, the PFA will speak with more than 1000 players across our four leagues to gauge opinion on plastic pitches.

The subject of 3G and 4G parks has proven controversial in recent years, with many managers and players against their use in the professional game.

Rangers were critical of the surface at Annan earlier in the season after winger David Templeton was injured just minutes into the Galabank clash.

The Gers claimed the plastic pitch contributed to Templeton's ankle damage, which saw him ruled out for several weeks.

Seven Scottish Football League grounds already have synthetic pitches and the SFA and PFA are now keen to gather the opinions of players on the use of such surfaces in our game.

And former Hibernian, Livingston and Queen of the South striker Stuart Lovell, who is now involved with player liaison at the Union, reckons now is the right time for discussions to take place.

He said: "We are delighted to work in partnership with the Scottish FA, especially on a matter that directly involves our members and, indeed, Scottish football as a whole.

"The debate on 3G pitches is one that has taken place for years but without any real input from those most affected by it – the players.

"We realise that the continual improvement in artificial pitch technology makes for a more meaningful debate and we look forward to work alongside the Scottish FA in this regard."

Cameron Watt, Scottish FA Facilities Manager: "The time has come for a comprehensive look into artificial pitch provision at all levels of the game in Scotland.

"We are delighted that PFA Scotland have agreed to assist us in establishing the views of their members on artificial surfaces and we will use that feedback to shape any recommendations in the future."

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