Local clubs faced with pre-season headache

Glebe Rangers are one of the clubs affected.
Glebe Rangers are one of the clubs affected.

Football clubs in the Ballymoney area are facing a pre-season pitch predicament.

It seems only one pitch - Paddy’s Park in Dervock - will be available for pre-season training and friendlies in the build up to the new season.

John McAuley of Glebe Rangers told Times Sport it will lead to a massive headache for clubs.

“We contacted clubs regarding pre-season only to be told the Dervock pitch would be the only one available,” he said.

“Every year it’s the same thing. We may be lucky enough as we have got in early, but what about the other teams and their preparation? We all pay the council a lot of money throughout the year for pitches but we are left in this predicament during the summer, it’s ridiculous.

“We are left in the position that we won’t be able to get on our home pitch at the Riada Stadium until July 30th.”

A statement from Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council said the decision was due to maintenance works.

It said: “The maintenance requirement may be significantly greater this year as a consequence of the extremely wet conditions endured this Winter/Spring and so there is restricted access to pitches accordingly. Dependent on how that work progresses Council may be able to open some pitches earlier than planned in order to facilitate pre-season training. We will also consider Club requirements and the ability to access other venues in the Borough.”