The shortlist for a national competition to find the worst amateur football pitch in the country has been announced and three Sussex teams have made the final list.
In January powered outdoor equipment engine makers, Briggs & Stratton, launched its Pitch to Win competition to find the worst amateur football playing surface in mainland Britain and five teams have made the shortlist.
The judges, made up a panel of experts from the turf and football industries, are now scoring the teams based on the pitch quality; the likely impact that the poor pitch has had on the team; and the passion and enthusiasm shown in the application. They will then decide on who should win the three coveted prize slots.
The three Sussex teams are Hassocks FC, Mile Oak FC, and Newhaven FC. All of the teams expressed how fixtures have had to be rearranged and games forfeited due to their poor pitch condition with reasons including flooding washing away the top soil, rocks and stones in place of a healthy turf, bald goalmouths and uneven surfaces.
Ian Small, UK sales and marketing manager at Briggs & Stratton, commented: “We were inundated with entries this year, perhaps as a result of the bad weather. They were incredibly strong and narrowing it down to the shortlisted five entries was not easy. The judges have got a tough task ahead of them. Previous Pitch to Win winners have gone from strength to strength as a result of the getting a pitch makeover so hopefully this year’s prizes will really help transform these clubs”.
The winner will receive a £3000 pitch makeover whilst two runners up will receive £500 for the club kitty. All three teams will also receive a year’s sponsorship and a new kit.