ANZ Stadium officials defend surface

September 1, 2014 – 12:02PM

ANZ Stadium officials have pointed to August’s historic rainfall in Sydney as a factor in the state of the ground, following criticism of the surface after Saturday’s AFL game between Sydney and Richmond.

Players frequently slipped over during the course of the game at a venue which has drawn fire for its surface conditions in previous seasons.

In one instance late in Saturday’s game, Sydney key defender Ted Richards lost his footing, allowing Richmond’s Dustin Martin a clear run to score what turned out to be the match-winning goal.

A retractable roof is scheduled to be fitted as part of a major upgrade of the venue in 2018.

“Western Sydney has experienced its wettest August in history and this obviously affected playing conditions last Saturday,” an ANZ Stadium spokesperson told AAP.

“The stadium is about to undergo a major redeployment with plans for a retractable roof.

“It would be nice to have the ability to close the roof in future.”

The Swans are contracted to play three games a year at ANZ Stadium until 2016.

Saturday’s match was played just two days attar an NRL game at the venue between South Sydney and the Canterbury Bulldogs.

There are no rugby league games scheduled at the venue this week leading up to the Swans’ qualifying final with Fremantle on Saturday.

The surface conditions at the ground were also called into question after AFL games there in 2011 and 2013.

In 2011, Swans star Jude Bolton wrote to the AFL Players’ Association, noting some sections of the ground were “substandard”.

© 2014 AAP
Brought to you by aap

Source : The Sydney Morning Herald

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