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Maidstone United free to play in Conference with 3G pitch if they win promotion from Ryman League

By Craig Tucker
Maidstone United's Gallagher Stadium Picture: Martin Apps

Maidstone United are celebrating a Conference U-turn which means they can be promoted with their 3G pitch at the Gallagher Stadium.

The Conference board have released a statement confirming their new stance on the use of artificial pitches.

It means Stones, who have been campaigning for change, are free to take their place in the newly-sponsored Vanarama Conference South if they win promotion from the Ryman League Premier Division this season.

The Conference statement said: "At the pre-season meeting of clubs in membership of the Vanarama Conference for season 2014/15, an update was issued on the use of ATPs (artificial turf pitches) in the competition.

"Following recent dialogue with the Football Association and Football League, the Football Conference’s board intends to allow competition matches to be played on ATPs, in all three divisions from the start of the 2015/16 season.

"Such approval will only be given where surfaces meet the standards of installation and criterion for use, which are to be agreed by the respective authorities.

"Further statements will be made as and when the standards and criteria are agreed with all our football partners, ensuring a pragmatic and practical approach is made when considering applications for their use at Levels 1 and 2 of the National League System and associated Cup & Trophy competitions."

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