Rayment looks at benefit of 3G pitch

Mark Jones
Mark Jones
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Spalding United’s squad will test out a 3G surface tonight in their final preparations for the first league game of the season.

The training session has been switched to Netherton whose artificial pitch is similar to the one at Sutton Coldfield Town where the Tulips kick off the Evo-Stik League First Division South campaign on Saturday.

But manager Pat Rayment feels 3G could benefit players such as Ash Burbeary, Jamie Thurlbourne and Jordan Thomas.

He explained: “They are good footballers and I know Jordan trained on 3G every day at Lincoln City.

“The surface should suit us if Jordan and Ash both play well.

“These 3G pitches have been given the all-clear by the FA and I think in the next 10, 15 or 20 years we are going to see a lot of clubs having them.

“Artificial pitches have come a long way since the days when they were like concrete with a green cover and you lost all your skin. These modern surfaces are so similar to the real thing.”

Spalding will start and finish the season on 3G as Romulus ground-share at Sutton Coldfield who last season finished sixth.

Rayment added: “We’ve had them watched and we know this fixture will be as hard as it comes for the opening game.

“The manager knows this league inside out and they are always there or thereabouts.

“We are going there to win and I’m not too bothered about the opposition.

“Myself and Marcus Ebdon have got to make sure we get the most out of our players and if we do that then we will get the right result.

“We will give them the platform to perform and it’s up to them. Everything is prepared.

“This has been the worst pre-season with players being unavailable and every training session had to be changed.”

Striker Mark Jones is likely to miss the opening couple of weeks as a precaution due to knee ligament strains.

Prolific forward Andrew Tidswell is away and keeper Michael Duggan faces a fitness test on severe bruising to his ankle. Tom Roberts will play in goal if Duggan is ruled out.

Spalding are hoping to agree terms with former Deeping Rangers player Mitch Griffiths after making a seven-day approach to his current club Sleaford Town.