Llandovery RFC are to install a brand new 3G pitch at Church Bank, ready for the 2024-2025  season writes Huw S Thomas

At a meeting held on Friday April 19 at the Church Bank clubhouse, Chairman Peter Rees and the club’s Board of Directors put forward the advantages of the initiative.

It would be a community led initiative by which all local sports clubs would have access to the facility and get great benefit from it, whatever the weather conditions.

Some senior games and a multitude of Junior Drovers fixtures and competitions have had to be cancelled recently and pitches have been so wet that training sessions have had to be called off.

So is the case with Llandovery FC whose games and training have been badly affected by bad weather.

With the WRU and Scarlets fully in favour of Llandovery’s ambition , the rugby club see the 3G pitch as a future focal point for East Carmarthenshire and Tywi valley sports clubs.

The cost of installation of the 3G pitch would be in the region of £750,000 – three quarters of a million pounds  – but the chairman explained to the 50 or so member present at the open meeting that all but £160,000 would be available as grants.

Sports Wales would contribute £418,906 and a Carmarthenshire County Council sustainable development fund would provide £175,000.

That results in the club itself and other local sports clubs like Llandovery Town Football Club responsible for finding close on £160,000 to bridge the gap.

Peter Rees was confident that the community would rally to the call and find the remaining £160,000 by selling a multitude of £20 “pitch squares” with all contributors to have their names emblazoned on a 3G Contribution Wall at the ground.

There were some doubts expressed from the floor that such a six figure sum would be beyond the reach of a small community and that the whole initiative was a risk.

Such fears were dismissed by a huge majority who gave  full support for the work to go ahead in the belief that the money would be found.

An artificial pitch which favours a fast running game would certainly be an advantage to the current Drovers squad.

Llandovery will be one of 10 clubs to take part in the new Elite Domestic League next season, a WRU initiative that seeks to bridge the gap between semi professional and professional rugby  to the benefit of Welsh rugby.

Wet heavy pitches that have not suited the style of the side would be a thing of the past and the reliability of the surface and pitch would also mean that representative and even fully professional games might be staged at Church Bank.

The planning application has already been submitted and the hope is that work will be started immediately once the season is over on May 4 or 11.

The intention is that the pitch be ready for rugby and other sports associations by September and well in advance of any hostile winter weather