Letter: Synthetic football pitches are harsher on growing joints

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian turning the first sod for the new synthetic pitches at Coffs Coast Sport and Leisure Park last week
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian turning the first sod for the new synthetic pitches at Coffs Coast Sport and Leisure Park last week

I would like to send a word of caution to young football players who will be using the new synthetic football pitches to be installed on the north coast.

My son played football in Australia for many years and at 14 went to play in Europe. He started training there for the first time on synthetic pitches and immediately had many joint issues that he had never experienced.

He played in first division, national league teams for six years, playing official matches on turf but trained predominately on synthetic. At 20 years old he may now not be able to play again having had knee surgery a few months ago for severe cartilage damage and another surgery soon.

It is well known and recorded that synthetic pitches are far harsher on growing joints and cause wear and tear far more severe than natural turf, which has more give. It is basically the difference between jogging on concrete or grass.

Some things cannot be replaced and joint wear and tear can cause issues for life. Natural turf can be used all year round, synthetic pitches were only installed in Europe as a cheap option for clubs due to less maintenance.

K Antonio

Port Macquarie


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