12 Feb Roughie’s view: Astroturf is a pain in the grass
Astroturf is a pain in the grass.
I’ve never played on the surface but I watch how the players look on it and I don’t think they run freely or know the bounce of the ball.
A lot of the stuff that happens doesn’t look natural to me.
Certain players don’t look comfortable on the ball, while some don’t even cross the white line because they’ve been advised not to due to injury fears.
Players say it takes them to two or three days longer to recover from playing on synthetic surfaces instead of grass.
Listen I can see why clubs like Hamilton, Kilmarnock, Falkirk and Alloa are using these synthetic surfaces because it helps cut costs.
They don’t have the same income as some of the bigger clubs and you can’t criticise them for that. That’s where they are at and that’s what they’ve got to do.
But these parks should be in the domain of the lower leagues, developing youngsters or used in training – not in the top league of Scottish football.
We shouldn’t have the situation where we have these parks in the top flight and some players can’t play on them.
I think it sends out the wrong message. If we were to end up with eight clubs in the Premiership with astroturf pitches people would look at the league and think it’s a bit mickey mouse.
We need to listen to the players; they are the experts who play on it and know what it is like. The PFA Scotland study showed that 73% preferred to play on grass rather than astroturf.
I hope all clubs in the top flight have a look at these figures, act accordingly and we can finally kick this argument into the long grass once and for all.