Square United will have to play the majority of their 2017/18 North East Football League season at the Boys School Field with the new sports pitch at Ardee Community School unavailable until April on advice from specialists.
Hopes were high that the brand new surface would be available for the school and the club within weeks of the school reopening earlier this month. However, Prunty Pitches – the company who laid the surface – have advised the school not to use the pitch until the Spring. They fear damage or wear caused in the winter months would not serve the pitch well going forward.
They have advised the school not to make the pitch available to students, teams or Square United until the Spring when it should be ready for the rigours of activity. While the sports pitch committee at ACS would prefer to have the pitch ready at this stage – as originally hoped – they are happy to follow the advice of Prunty, one of the country’s foremost sportsground specialists.
“We’ve waited 40 years for this, so we can wait another few months,” Sean Moran told ThisIsArdee.ie on Thursday.
By April, both Square’s first and second teams should be almost finished their respective league seasons. Tony Boyle’s first team have enjoyed a good start to the season, taking 10 points from their first seven games in the NEFL Division 1. In the A Reserve League, United’s seconds have won two and lost three in their opening five outings.
The design of the state-of-the-art sand based pitch will facilitate high levels of usage throughout the entire year but it will be especially evident between September and May – during the academic year where boys and girls soccer, GAA and rugby teams will be training and competing in competition. These are also the months in which Square’s senior teams will require it’s use.
Once ready, the pitch will handle the winter weather much better than Square’s current home at the Monastery Boys School, in turn alleviating the fixture issues that have previously arisen from postponements due to weather and pitch condition.