Pitch quality is on the rise across the A-League as Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) releases its Stadium Ratings for the first 15 rounds of the competition.

Aimed at increasing the awareness of player health and safety, the importance of first-class surfaces and recognising the invaluable contribution of fans, the findings of the report revealed an increase in the overall average pitch rating from 3.72 to 3.8.

Voted on by the opposing team captain or PFA Delegate at the end of each match, who rate each criteria out of five, with five being the highest or best, Hunter Stadium has undertaken the biggest transformation in pitch quality.

As one of seven stadiums to have shown improvement in the playing surfaces, the Newcastle Jets home ground recorded an average overall pitch rating of 4 for the opening 15 rounds of the season, up from 2.75 for the 2014/15 campaign.

Pirtek Stadium, Suncorp Stadium and Westpac Stadium also showed significant improvements in comparison to last season’s averages.

Etihad Stadium recorded the highest average atmosphere rating by players so far this season, thanks to the electric atmosphere created by Melbourne Victory fans.

Whilst the average rating was slightly down on last season, a number of clubs have improved, with the atmosphere created by fans at Hunter Stadium, Central Coast Stadium and Suncorp Stadium having risen.

PFA Player Relations Manager Simon Colosimo said the improvement in pitch quality was encouraging with the players having long campaigned for ‘world class’ playing surfaces.

“Pitch quality and atmosphere shape the intensity of a game,” said Colosimo.

“A high quality playing surface not only ensures player health and safety, but also allows players to be at their best.”

“Fans want to see football of the highest possible standard and this can only occur if players are provided with a high class surface.

“With this in mind, the significant improvement to the playing surface at Hunter Stadium is welcomed and there is little doubt that it has contributed to a better spectacle for fans at Jets’ home games, as shown in the atmosphere ratings.

“It’s equally encouraging to see improvements in atmosphere at a number of clubs. The atmosphere created by A-League fans is truly unique and is a key pillar in the game’s continued growth.”