Footballers facing extended festive break

Much of The Clappers, home of Robertsbridge United FC, has been under water this week (SUS-160501-141249002)
Much of The Clappers, home of Robertsbridge United FC, has been under water this week (SUS-160501-141249002)
0
Have your say

Many parks footballers are likely to have an extended festive break after a soggy start to the new year.

The first matches of 2016 in the Macron East Sussex Football League are due to take place on Saturday, but the extremely wet weather of the past week has left pitches waterlogged and the programme is likely to be decimated as a result.

Robertsbridge United’s home at The Clappers is always prone to flooding during spells of very wet weather and much of the ground was under water this week.

Robertsbridge’s second team is due to host St Leonards in Division Five tomorrow and the first team is meant to be away to Hollington United in the Premier Division.

But with virtually zero chance of playing, the club was this week hoping to fix up a training session on an all-weather surface instead.

“I can foresee a January of no football at all,” said Robertsbridge secretary Alan Apps. “You can’t go anywhere else either because everyone else is in the same boat and it doesn’t look much better next week.

Battle Recreation Ground, home of Battle Baptists, is laying extremely wet after a soggy start to the new year

Battle Recreation Ground, home of Battle Baptists, is laying extremely wet after a soggy start to the new year

“We’re trying to make plans to play a club game between the firsts and seconds on Saturday afternoon on the 3G pitch at Battle just to keep us fit. We train indoors at the college in Robertsbridge once a week, but that’s not the same as getting out there with the football.

“The floods came up to the pavilion on Sunday evening/Monday morning and the biggest problem now is the water table is so high that it doesn’t get a chance to dry off. The ground is so saturated it’s not going anywhere.

“What we need is wind and sunshine, but even if we get a week of dry weather I can’t see us playing on it next week because it just stays in the ground.”

A stand-out feature of the opening fixture list of 2016 is the scheduled Sussex Bluefin Junior Cup action as the league provides half of the last 16 line-up.

I can foresee a January of no football at all.

Alan Apps

One tie is scheduled in the Hastings & District FA Junior Cup and league matches are due to take place in all six divisions.

The top two in the Premier Division are down to meet, with second-placed Ore Athletic at home to unbeaten leaders Peche Hill Select. Third-placed Battle Baptists are scheduled to entertain Rock-a-Nore.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1 Make this website your homepage

2 Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Sport-Sussex

3 Follow us on Twitter @SportSussex

4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!