Training on synthetic surfaces will be part of the AFL’s future, according to John Longmire, who’s trialling the concept this pre-season.
The Sydney coach had his players train on the fake grass of Blackman Park in Lane Cove West on Tuesday and believes the concept had their support.
“The boys have loved it and I think it’s a great surface,” Longmire told reporters.
While a number of sports in Australia and overseas have long been played and trained on synthetic surfaces, Longmire warmed to the idea while watching English rugby union team Saracens do so a few years ago.
He said synthetic grounds also had significant community benefits, with Blackman Park fields marked for Australian rules, soccer, rugby union and league and cricket.
“We want to continue to support the use of synthetic surfaces, of different surfaces in sport, not just AFL football,” Longmire said.
“We think this is a great opportunity for Sydney councils and governments to be able to support the use of multi-purpose venues like this.
“I think it’s the way of the future.
“And particularly when land’s so scarce, to have venues like this and to be able to play as many sports as you can on it is great for the whole community.”
Published in theage.com.au on 23 January 2018 by Warren Barnsley