Despite some of the most entertaining football being played in the A-League this season, figures show that a comparison with the overall pitch quality after the same number of games last year has fallen according to those who know best, the players.

Table topping club Central Coast Mariners is currently rated least favourably among visiting players for their pitch, and while many may think this is down to teams often leaving the Bluetongue Stadium with the sour taste of defeat this season, Mariners’ captain and PFA Executive Alex Wilkinson says this is not an unfair assessment, “unfortunately it hasn’t been as good as we would hope, and one of the main problems is the patchy grass which makes for a bumpy playing surface.  It’s something we speak to the groundsmen about and I’m sure it will improve”.

With the exception of AAMI Park, Etihad Stadium, and notably Sydney Football Stadium, which ranked as the worst surface a year ago, all venues are struggling to maintain what were lofty standards in many cases during 2010/2011, such as last year’s PFA Pitch Ratings Award winner Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium.

Sydney FC have been closely monitoring the feedback from away teams throughout this season in an effort to improve upon last year, and this has paid dividends with players now rating the pitch above that of Newcastle, Perth and the Central Coast.

Common feedback from players is that while many of the surfaces themselves are good, they would play far better if watered before kick-off and, if possible, at half time to increase the pace and therefore overall playability of the pitch.

AAMI Park leads the pack in this area, and it’s a credit to the venue that it’s been able to maintain such high standards given the quantity of matches it’s required to withstand as host to Melbourne Heart as well as many Melbourne Victory fixtures.

To view the Pitch Ratings please click here

Pitch ratings are provided by the away captains of visiting teams throughout the A-League season, and are based on pitch hardness, smoothness, pace and overall quality.  The PFA will Award the ground staff of the team with the best pitch at the end of the season.