PLAYERS from more than 250 teams could practice each week on one of two new all-weather pitches planned for Northwich.

Simon Gerrard, chief executive at Cheshire FA, said a survey of clubs – adult and junior – had identified demand to use a floodlit, 3G surface at Moss Farm or Hartford campus.

“That’s pretty much as I expected,” he said.

“Obviously, we want to cater for as many teams as possible, though inevitably not everybody will be able to use the pitches.

“There will be a capacity, though ideally we’d like to assign clubs to a particular training night so they do not have to hold sessions in a lot of different places.

“Northwich has no facilities like this at the moment, with the nearest 3G pitch being in Middlewich.

“To go from none to two will have an impact, though it may be that we need even more in the future.”

Cheshire West and Chester Council, landowner at both sites, announced a £1m scheme last October to lay the state-of-the-art surfaces.

Half of that sum will be provided by Thor Specialities (UK) Ltd as compensation for redeveloping the plot on which Northwich Victoria’s now former home ground was built in Wincham.

Experts are working out the exact cost of the project at the moment with a technical survey.

Gerrard said: “Once we have the results of that study, then we can move things on further.

“We’ll then get together with the other funding partners, as well as the council, on the next stage.”

Northwich Rugby Club, based at the outdoor complex in Winnington, is hoping to use the new pitch there too.

Chairman Sam Naylor said: “It’s been our aim from the start for the first team to play home matches on it.

“Of course to do that, they’ll need time set aside to train too.

“We’ve been asked what we want from the facility, and of course replied. The detail of that is still being discussed.”

The pitch at Hartford will be for football only, with a shared use agreement to be signed by the high school and Mid-Cheshire College.

What do you think? What impact will the provision of two 3G pitches have on football in Northwich?

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