Broxburn must temper any plans for pitch clearance

HIGH-FLYING Broxburn Athletic won't be carrying out an Alloa-style snow clearing operation on their artificial pitch - despite being confident it would attract a bigger gate to Albyn Park than 600.

That's how many fans turned up at Recreation Park to see the only game in Scottish football last Saturday, a team of helpers having moved 500 tons of snow from the pitch to allow the Third Division clash between Alloa and Peterhead to go ahead.

Broxburn, currently six points clear at the top of the East Region Premier Division, also have a 3G artificial pitch that was installed as part of Albyn Park being redeveloped last season.

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But secretary Jim Provan said there are a whole host of reasons they won't be pulling out all the stops to get it playable, even though he admitted it could prove attractive to neutrals as well as the Broxburn fans.

"To some extent, yes," he replied when asked if it would be possible to carry out the sort of operation that defied the odds to make Recreation Park playable.

"But we couldn't afford the diggers they got in and, also, we wouldn't want to cause unnecessary damage to the pitch by clearing snow off it.

"Some local sports centres with 3G surfaces discovered that the rubber had been lifted with the snow when they cleared them last winter.

"The fact there's two feet of snow on the park and it's even difficult to walk through is another thing stopping us.

"Then there is the question mark over whether or not carrying out such an operation would be worth it or not because I think Alloa would have been disappointed with the crowd they got last Saturday. In my opinion, they put in a lot of effort for not much return.

"If we put a game on at Albyn Park and it was the only one on in Junior football in this area, I'm confident we'd get more than 600. But, due to the various reasons I have outlined, we'll be leaving the pitch as it is at the moment."

Provan also revealed that, due to a suspension hanging over Stephen Kiczynski, Broxburn's next game has to be an Emirates Scottish Junior Cup clash away to Aberdeen side Culter.

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"Come what may, that's the match we have to play next because it would be seen as a 'game of convenience' for Stephen if we tried to arrange a fixture before then," he added.

"Unfortunately, it doesn't look as though the Culter game will be played for a few weeks. Indeed, I told their secretary we'd be wishing each other a Happy New Year by the time we do meet."

With their own pitch out of action, Broxburn are in the same boat as every other club in trying to secure indoor training facilities.

"The all-weather pitches in the area are all out of use and trying to get somewhere indoors is like finding hen's teeth," said Provan. "It's all very frustrating because we are riding on the crest of a wave at the moment and I'm sure Steve Pittman and the boys would want to keep it going. "We'll just have to wait and see how the players adapt."