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New hope for 3G pitch rule

MAIDSTONE United FC’s cam- paign to get 3G pitches permitted in the Football Conference has been boosted by a decision to allow them to be played on in the FA Cup. The main pitch at the Stones’ ground, the Gallagher Stadium in James WhatmanWay, has a third- generation synthetic surface. The Ryman Premier League

club’s battle to convince the Con- ference to allow games on 3G pitches has been helped after the FA Cup committee gave them the go-ahead to be used for its flagship competition. Maidstone and the Weald MP

Helen Grant, the minister for sport, said: “I believe that allowing 3G pitches in the Football Conference would be a sensible step. Of course it is for the Football Conference in conjunction with the FA to make any decision. “I have held initial discussions

with the football authorities to con- sider a change of the rules and will have further meetings.

“3G pitches are weather-resis-

tant, offer big benefits to the com- munity and provide a beautiful, flat playing surface ideal for talent and skill development of players. “Maidstone United’s Football Academy, now in its second year, trains 65 full-time students with ac- cess to the pitch for 24 hours of training per week – something which would not be possible if the club had a grass pitch, which can just about cope with a competitive match every otherweek. “MaidstoneUnited is also a lead-

ing football club in the South East for disability football.” The Football Conference board recently rejected a proposal to over- turn the 3G ban by 21 votes to 11. Shortly afterwards it sent a letter to the Stones stating the issue was “therefore settled”. The Stones are to unveil a plan to expand the stadium, built in 2012. The club want to build an 800-

seat stand at the Springfield end of the ground to raise the capacity to just over 3,000.


Maidstone ME15 6YE Fans to tell story of Stones

KENT History and Library Centre and Maidstone United have appointed a photographer and writer for The Rise of Maidstone United, which explores the history of the town’s football club, as retold by their supporters. Writer Steve Tasane is a pub-

lished author, poet and writer. He has a three-book deal writing young adult fiction for Walker Books. He said: “Football has its own unique language, and every fan is a natural storyteller. The ups and downs of the club are a natu- ral framework for the story of Maidstone.” Documentary photographer Malcolm Glover has also been appointed. Malcolm has previously worked for Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club. He said the work would be “a vibrant, exciting set of images captur- ing the passion of the supporters of Maidstone United Football Club.” Steve and Malcolm will work with the club and KCC’s Kent History and

Steve Tasane and Michael Glover

Library Centre until October 2014, and their work will result in an exhibi- tion and book launch in November 2014.

MPHelen backs England girls

LOCAL MP Helen Grant cheered on England U15 girls’ football team as they beat Republic of Ireland 8-0 at Maidstone’s Gallagher Stadium. Sports minister Mrs Grant,

who is pictured with the U15 girls, also presented medals to players taking part in the South East U11 seven-a-side tournament at the stadium. She said: “It was especially

good to see Maidstone’s Alessia Russo playing in the England squad”.

Monumental Stonemasons Est. 1973


P 2014alm Sunday 13th April 8.00am Eucharist (said)

9.30am Joint Eucharist beginning at All Saints and continuing at St. Philip’s Church, Waterloo Street

Wednesday 16th April 7.30pm Said Eucharist and Address

7.30pm Maundy Thursday 17th April Choral Eucharist of the Last Supper followed by Gethsemane Watch

Good Friday 18th April 1.30pm The Liturgy of the Cross

7.30pm Holy Saturday 19th April The Easter Liturgy

20th April Easter Sunday 8.00am Eucharist (BCP said) 9.30am Choral Eucharist 3.15pm Choral Evensong

New Memorials

Tablets, Plaques & Vases Cleaning,

Renovation & Restoration Safety Inspections

Memorial Insurance Arranged

Free Brochures Telephone 01622 762482

01233 636500 01795 436178 2 Sutton Road Maidstone Kent ME15 9AH 68 Kent Avenue Ashford Kent TN24 8NQ Howt Green Bobbing Sittingbourne Kent ME9 8QP

28 Maidstone Town April 2014


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