Yeovil Town captain Josh Staunton has revealed he will miss eight matches next season having been advised not to play on artificial surfaces due to a knee injury.

The skipper told 3 Valleys Radio‘s programme ‘Football Bloody Hell’ that he would miss the opening three away fixtures of the National League South season with Hemel Hempstead Town, Maidstone United and Havant & Waterlooville all having artificial pitches.

He was not involved in Tuesday night’s 5-0 pre-season friendly win at Dorchester Town due to the 3G surface at The Avenue Stadium.

Asked about the matches he would miss, Staunton said: “My target is ever single game other than 3G games, that is my target every single season.

I know I can’t run around like a 21-year-old anymore so I will adapt and find a way, but my aim is to be available for 39 games. They are all unfortunately marked down. There’s no grey territory, it’s a green light or red light.

I won’t be available for an away game until September, our first three games are all on 3G surfaces. The gaffer is taking me on as part of the coaching staff, so I will be there in a different form.”

Josh Staunton rises highest for a header. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

According to our resident National League expert, Seb White, the following clubs have artificial surfaces:

Eastbourne Borough
Havant & Waterlooville
Hemel Hempstead Town
Maidstone United
Slough Town
Tonbridge Angels


He said that a decision to play on the 3G surface at Bromley last season had nearly ended his career after suffering a painful reaction to playing on the pitch, and said that he was now having to have a tailored programme of training during the current pre-season campaign.

Speaking of the impact of the 4-1 defeat at Bromley in January, the 27-year-old said: “It nearly ended my career it was that bad. I have never felt anything like it, I was not the same after and we had such a flurry of games thereafter, so I could not settle my knee down.

It all came from the impact of playing on 3G, I just could not get the swelling back under control and I did not have time for injections because games were coming thick and fast.

On his pre-season fitness regime, he added: “I try and keep the pounding out of my knee, so every time they do a run, I substitute it with a bike, so I do non-impact stuff. I have trained a lot more than I expected to, I am trying to get some bedding back in to it.

I had a summer where I was completely off it and I was not allowed to do any running, so I have bedded it back in through careful management and I hope to be in a much better position that I was last year.

It is just a case of trying to keep low impact where possible until I can build up a tolerance of it, but hopefully I will be managing it and will be available for 39 games of the season.

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