A JUNIOR football team are concerned for the future of their club as they battle with continuous pitch problems. 

St Roch’s Football Club, who were formed in 1920 and play in the West of Scotland First Division, have found their pitch, which they described as a “big mud pile surrounded by fantastic support”, brings problem after problem due to its poor condition. 

The pitch is based at the team's home ground, James McGrory Park.

Glasgow Times:

Iain Kennedy, St Roch’s manager, said: “Since day one, the pitch has been rock-solid. It has been built on top of black ash and the top layer of the park is less than an inch. 

“There is nothing in it and no grass, it is all just moss, weeds and dirt.

“What we basically have is a big mud pile with fantastic support – and they deserve more.”

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Due to the condition of the pitch and the poor drainage that comes with it, the club has found itself regularly calling off games, losing players to other teams and struggling to play the beautiful game altogether. 

Iain explained: “It is difficult for players to run and turn quickly because of the lack of grass. These are the basic elements of football. If you can’t do the basics, you can’t do much. 

“I really like technical players, but a lot of them come here and take one look at the pitch and say 'I’m sorry, I can’t play my game on this pitch' and I get that. 

“But it means that I have to look for different players and how I want the team to play changes too. This pitch just spirals into a million different things.

“This club is a big place for the community – fixing this pitch matters to us and to our players and supporters massively.” 

Glasgow Times:

Andy Smith, the club’s secretary, added that due to pitch issues, the club and players are both losing out on income.

He said: “When we are hit with heavy rain, games get called off and it means fans can’t get to the football and the players can’t play their game. It just gets frustrating for everyone. 

“Some players arrange time off work for the games, so when they are cancelled, they are quite literally losing income. 

“And if there are no games, there is no money coming into the club, but we still have bills to pay.

“If we can refurb the pitch, we are more likely to get games throughout the harsher weather and it gives us a bit more security.”

Glasgow Times:

Though the club would love to refurbish the pitch as soon as possible, the problem lies with expenses. 

After having a range of professionals out to survey the pitch, Ian said he was quoted £80,000 just for draining. 

Though the park has a host of incredible volunteers, there is only so much they can do, as Andy puts it. 

Iain added: “We could get volunteers in again to help but the pitch won’t go anywhere, it’ll still be the same in 20 years. 

“We want to get the community behind us to turn this over and the committee need a programme for the pitch to just get it done.

“We just need to take a big deep breath and commit to this.” 

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To help lessen the pinch in the club’s pockets, St Roch’s has set up a GoFundMe.

The fundraiser was set up a few weeks ago and will remain open until the end of the season in 2025. 

Iain added: “We have set up the fundraiser but the money we need is a mass amount. 

“We know times are difficult for everyone right now and we understand that. 

“We just want to raise as much as possible.” 

Aside from the pitch, any money raised will also be used to make improvements to the stadium environment, lounge area and dressing rooms.

The club aim to raise £70,000 by the end of the 2024/25 season.​

To donate, you can click HERE