Plastic not so fantastic: concerns raised over artificial W-League pitch | Samantha Lewis

Plastic not so fantastic: concerns raised over artificial W-League pitch | Samantha Lewis

The Guardian

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The only synthetic surface used in Australia’s top football competitions rates poorly and is unpopular with players

The first thing you noticed was the smell. Walking into Cromer Park for Sydney FC’s match against Adelaide United on Sunday, overpowering the usual wafts of hot chip boxes and the salty ocean breeze, was the burnt-rubber odour of its artificial pitch baking in the afternoon sun.

The turf did not just smell bad, though; it also looked and behaved poorly. The gangrenous green “grass” was stained with patches of black from the loose rubber pellets that sprayed up like dust with every kick, tackle and slide. The day’s heat made the field sticky in some places and slick in others, the ball’s unpredictable skip or spin forcing players to take extra touches. The game noticeably suffered as a result.

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