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Maidstone United co-owner Oliver Ash welcomes Conference decision to allow 3G pitches

By Craig Tucker
Oliver Ash
Oliver Ash

Maidstone United co-owner Oliver Ash believes the club's campaign for the acceptable of 3G pitches played a part in the Conference U-turn.

The Conference said in a statement on Thursday afternoon they will allow 3G pitches from the 2015-16 season.

It's great news for United, who play on 3G at the Gallagher Stadium, and are now eligible for promotion from the Ryman League Premier Division.

There's been pressure on the Conference since the FA ruled artificial pitches would be allowed in all rounds of the FA Cup.

Football League clubs have also expressed an interest in 3G in Leagues 1 and 2 from 2015-16.

Stones co-owner Mr Ash said: "We're delighted that the Conference board has finally embraced 3G pitches, which will be of huge benefit to many of their clubs over the next few years.

"We're also delighted that our lobbying has led to the FA, the Football League and now the Conference coming round to the benefits 3G can offer the game as a whole.

"I think it would have happened in the end because it's patently obvious how beneficial it is.

"The fact we've given the Conference and others a push by presenting the information clearly and quickly has accelerated the decision."

Maidstone United's Gallagher Stadium Picture: Martin Apps
Maidstone United's Gallagher Stadium Picture: Martin Apps

Stones boss Jay Saunders said: "The main battle is won and we start the season knowing we can get promoted.

"It's now up to us as a team to go and produce on the pitch.

"A few players, when signing, were asking what was going on with the pitch.

"I said we were confident it would be accepted and that is now the case.

"I'm so pleased for Oliver, Terry Casey (co-owner) and Bill Williams (chief executive).

"They gambled on a 3G pitch knowing it would be a battle to get it accepted in the Conference and they've got their rewards."

Full story in Friday's Kent Messenger

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