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Council to invite Benburb-based Riverdale FC to discuss pitch provision problems

Mid Ulster representative, Councillor Barry Monteith has asked council officers to invite Riverdale Football Club representatives, to discuss a way forward in terms of pitch provision – taking into account the rainy weather.

Speaking at a recent development meeting, the Independent councillor for Dungannon DEA commented: “I know other councillors were contacted as well by Riverdale Football Club in Benburb.

“They are the primary user of the facilities out there belonging to ourselves.

“Because of the issues around the weather and rain and the lack of suitable climate, they were only actually able to use the facilities 15 times last year or last season.

“That’s just not in any way adequate for any sort of football club, so they’re looking to chat to ourselves.

“I propose we invite them in to make a presentation to the Development Committee, because it’s probably an issue that we’re going to have to face on a lot of the grass pitches.

“If the weather is not going to get any better, the climate isn’t going to change, it’s going to be wetter, these pitches are going to be redundant and they’re going to be unfit for purpose.

“So there’s going to have to be a massive investment in brand-new surfaces and drainage if we’re going to keep grass pitches, or [else] move down the line of the 4G [pitches].

“It might be a mixture of of both, but I think particularly in the smaller rural areas, where there only is one facility, we need to look at them first.

“There are other options in the towns, there’s obviously a major issue about supply – there’s not enough – but at least there are options.

“If the only facility in your area is a grass pitch, this is a club that’s been forced to use facilities in Dungannon, Armagh, Lurgan, places like that.

“If you’re trying to build a a sense of community within a a small club, it’s very hard to do when you don’t have a home that you can rely on.”

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