Club’s plea over ‘disgraceful’ pitch

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A football club managerhas said his side is missing out on young talent due to ‘disgraceful’ state the pitch it uses.

Ripley Town Football Club manager Paul Lavender made the appeal at the latest meeting of Ripley Town Council, claiming the surface was ‘disgraceful’.

He warned at the meeting on Tuesday, July 15, if 
the surface at Nottingham Road was not improved the club risked losing talented youngsters to other sides.

He said: “Young 
talented kids are already choosing to go to other towns’ clubs because of their updated and modern facilities and this is causing real concern for the future of the town’s football club.

“The state of our pitch is a disgrace. It has deteriorated over the years and is now a real worry. Last season, we had two games called off by referees due to potholes in the goalmouth, and opposing teams have labelled the playing surface a ‘joke’. This reflects on the town in general and gives Ripley a bad name.”

Labour council leader Steve Freeborn said the authority was trying to work alongside the club to find a solution.

He said: “The town’s football club is extremely important to the community and we want to support their progression. There may be potential to move to a different site whilst the Ripley pitch is upgraded.”

The plea comes after it was revealed football pitches in Amber Valley would get a share of £400,000 earmarked from the borough council for improvements. Council landscape manager Sharon 
Sutton said: “Funds of £400,000 have recently been allocated to the renovation of 
existing community pitches andimprovements to the community park on Nottingham Road. The planning 
process aimed to ensure that this 
money is invested wisely to benefit the whole community. “