Green Gully coach calls for action over poor pitches

Green Gully coach Arthur Papas. Picture Damian Visentini

Green Gully coach Arthur Papas has hit out at the standard of playing pitches across the National Premier League.

Papas said the Cavaliers have often been subjected to uneven playing surfaces on their travels.

He described it as “de-motivating” for the players going to some away venues because of the poor standard of the pitch and called on Football Federation Victoria to take the issue more seriously.

“The most disappointing part about this league right now is some of the pitches we’re having to go and play at – it’s not doing the league any justice,” Papas said.

“It’s really disappointing because the model of this NPL was about trying to improve facilities, infrastructure and the professionalism, and, if I’m really honest about it, it’s dropped dramatically and no one seems to care.

“The FFV need to be accountable and make clubs accountable for that.

“We’ve put in a couple of complaints about the standard of some of the pitches we’re playing on and it just seems to fall on deaf ears.”

Green Gully went into an off-weekend sitting fourth on the ladder and in the finals mix.

The Cavaliers know there is still work to be done to reach the playoffs because the teams below them have games in hand.

Papas is adamant the squad at his disposal this season is as good as any he has coached in Victorian soccer, but reckons their cohesion and creativity is hampered somewhat by the playing conditions at some away venues.

“The FFV need to be more strict about what the criteria is, because, as a coach, I don’t want to be changing my way of approaching a game every week based on the type of pitch we have to play on,” he said.

“Unfortunately, that’s what’s happening and it’s unfair on a club like Green Gully, who have invested so much money in the off season to make sure the pitch was at a level that would be fitting for the competition, but it doesn’t seem to be across the board.

“It’s really de-motivating for some of us to have to experience these things when you’re trying to act in a professional manner.

“If you want to improve the style of play, if you want to improve the quality of this league, you’re going to have to look at the facilities first and come up to a better level.”