Batch thinks 3G pitches are way to go

IN THE HOTSEAT: AFC Sudbury manager David Batch was quizzed by fans
IN THE HOTSEAT: AFC Sudbury manager David Batch was quizzed by fans

Putting in an artificial first-team pitch at The MEL Group Stadium is a no-brainer, according to AFC Sudbury manager David Batch.

The Yellows’ boss spent 25 minutes answering supporters’ and club officials’ questions as part of AFC’s vice-presidents’ lunch before their last home game on Monday.

At the tail end of his first season at the club, Batch also outlined how he has helped overhaul youth development, to the point where he expects to carry ‘two to three’ fewer players to maintain his first-team squad for 2014/15.

When asked of his expectations for next season, he said the club is set to make a big improvement from last year’s 17th-placed finish — able to finish from eighth to 10th heading into their last game at Barkingside on Saturday (3pm) — and ‘just need to try and keep getting better’.

On the issue of installing an artificial pitch at The MEL Group Stadium, he said it was ‘no surprise’ Maidstone United — who beat them on their 3G surface in the Ryman League Cup final — and Harlow Town are having good seasons.

“I think it would be a massive advantage to know every other week what you are going to get and how the pitch is going to play,” he said.

Of the other plus points, he added: “One: there is not a lot of lost revenue to the football club, in terms of it being every other week and, secondly, there is more revenue to be gained.

“All of that is really positive and I don’t think we will be the only club who are considering that option — I think lots of clubs will and are looking at it as they sense it is the way it has got to go.”

n The week 51 winners of the AFC Gold fundraiser are: £100 (271) W Malone, Gaol Lane, Sudbury; £10 (182) Peddars, King St, Sudbury; £10 (333) D Plowman, AFC Sudbury.