FOOTBALL has been one of the casualties of the torrential rain this year, but one youth team is hoping they will be able to stand up to any future storms without having to resort to wearing diving gear.

The under 13s team at South Newton & Wishford Football Club hadn’t set foot on the pitch at Stoford Recreation Group since Christmas due to flooding so when they heard about a national competition to win £3,000 towards a pitch makeover, they jumped at the chance.

Paul Russell, coach and parent of player Harry, who spotted the competition in a football magazine, said: “The South Newton football pitch has been under water since Christmas and only now is the water starting to recede to reveal the damage and devastation caused. “None of the South Newton teams have been able to play or train on it, and the situation is so dire now that our entire season’s in significant jeopardy.”

The winner of the Pitch to Win competition will also receive kit sponsorship for next season.

The contest, sponsored by garden machinery manufacturer Briggs & Stratton, is taking entries until March 28. Details at