Belfast Telegraph

Risk of flooding may bring end to Glentoran hopes of an artificial pitch

 

Weather warning: Glens’ 3G pitch plans may be scuppered
Weather warning: Glens’ 3G pitch plans may be scuppered

By Graham Luney

Glentoran have revealed they have considered installing an artificial playing surface at The Oval but it may not be possible due to a risk of flooding.

Crusaders and Cliftonville have artificial pitches and the Glens believe a 3G pitch surface and training facility would help revive fortunes at the club.

The east Belfast side have long-term plans to go full-time and redevelop The Oval following the completion of a major investment by a UK-based consortium, led by Welshman Ali Pour.

Manager Mick McDermott is rebuilding the team ahead of the new season but the club confirmed their plans to put down an artificial pitch may be kicked into touch.

"The club is aware of speculation in recent weeks about the possible installation of a 3G pitch and training facility at The Oval," a club statement read.

"We can confirm that such discussions have taken place. However, expert advice has stated that further investigation is required on potential flood risk, given the location of The Oval.

"This investigation will be fully undertaken but is likely to take several weeks.

"The recent well-publicised delay in completion of the investment into the club renders this timescale impractical for Glentoran's immediate football needs or for the needs of our loyal supporters as we enter a new season.

"Therefore, the installation will not take place this season.

"We would like to thank Coleraine, Institute and Larne Football Clubs for agreeing in principle to move our early fixtures in the Danske Bank Premiership but we can confirm to our supporters that our fixtures will be completed as published on www.glentoran.com.

"Other improvements within the stadium will be announced through official club media channels in the coming weeks."

Croatian goalkeeper Marijan Antolovic and midfielder Hrvoje Plum have recently joined the Glens, while John Herron has signed a new contract.

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