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Dartford boss Tony Burman says Conference football should be played on grass as Maidstone United push to have their 3G pitch accepted

Dartford manager Tony Burman has disagreed with Maidstone United's 3G argument by saying Conference football should be played on grass.

The Stones are second in the Ryman League Premier Division but as things stand, their artificial surface wouldn't be allowed in Skrill South next season.

The Gallagher Stadium in Maidstone
The Gallagher Stadium in Maidstone

Conference members clubs will vote on Wednesday whether or not to amend that rule and open the way for a potential second Maidstone promotion in as many seasons.

But Burman, who led Dartford into Conference South in 2010 and then up into the Premier two seasons later, doesn't feel it's time for change.

He said: "I think 3G is great. It’s really good for training, really good for youth team games and really good for reserve team games when the pitch isn’t right.

"But I feel that at the level we’re at and above, it should be played on grass.

"I think there’s enough technology and enough ingredients to get pitches right. If you’re up at this level, you should be getting your pitch right.

Lee Burns plays the ball forward against Cambridge (Pic: Andy Payton)
Lee Burns plays the ball forward against Cambridge (Pic: Andy Payton)

"There’s something wrong at the moment with our pitch but having said that, the amount of rain that it’s taken is horrendous."

Dartford and Cambridge United played out a thrilling 3-3 draw in the mud at Princes Park on Saturday.

Speaking afterwards, Burman said: "Would you have seen a better game on 3G? I’m not sure you would.

"After Christmas, all this is about the football season. It’s about different conditions, different elements of weather.

Views from other managers have been mixed.

Welling player/boss Jamie Day believes 3G is the future and would be happy to see it used in Skrill Premier.

Meanwhile Tonbridge Angels manager Tommy Warrilow described the Gallagher Stadium pitch as "ideal" and said playing on 3G needn't detract from the atmosphere at a game.

But Dover boss Chris Kinnear, despite taking training sessions on 3G, doesn't expect this week's vote to go in Maidstone's favour.

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