Young players do not have a problem with artificial surfaces, says Kearney

St Mirren boss Oran Kearney has blamed calls for a ban on plastic pitches in Scotland’s top flight on the generation gap.

Every player from nine Ladbrokes Premiership clubs – including Kearney’s Buddies squad – have signed up to a petition calling for artificial surfaces to be outlawed.

But the Northern Irishman reckons the views of today’s professionals will not be mirrored by the younger crop currently making their way up through the ranks who are used to playing and training on the synthetic turf week in, week out.

He said: “It’s an interesting one. It’s more than a generational thing than anything else.

“If you were to sit and ask the players in 10 years’ time I don’t think it would be an issue because the new generation of players – lads aged 12, 13 and 14 at this point in time – they probably know nothing but artificial surfaces at this point.

“Their bodies are built for that and it’s the norm for them.

“Right now, the current crop of first-team players have been reared on grass pitches for the whole of their childhood and teenage years.

“That’s where the angst is coming from. It’s common knowledge if you switch from one surface to another then you can find it much tougher. Just ask a tennis player when they switch from grass to clay to hard-court and they will say the same.

“When the guys now play on an artificial pitch on a Saturday, because the muscle memory isn’t there as they aren’t 100 per cent used to them and don’t play on them regularly then they do feel it for a couple of days afterwards.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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