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Wandsworth is a tremendous paradox of an area, with affluent parks such as Wandsworth Common and Battersea Park, to tough estates off Clapham Junction.
One reason (amongst many) for starting OpenPlay was due to a double booking at Wandsworth Common. Whilst running an U15's side I thought had booked one of the dog turd ridden football pitches on Wandsworth Common. However 30 disappointed kids and a similar number of very angry parents were turfed off due to an 'administration issue'. This was entirely avoidable and ringing around trying to find football pitches in Wandsworth proved a nightmare.
That said and despite any bookings team even considering answering the phone, there are actually quite a range of Wandsworth football pitches. Here is a list of the main pitches available with details of how to book them.
Battersea Park are certainly the most scenic football pitches in Wandsworth, with the iconic power station (any chances of actually being renovated?) over-looking the park. There are approximately three pitches available but like most council pitches, they are incredibly well used so don't expect a beautifally manicured lawn, because you are certainly not going to get that in Battersea Park. However there are two very good 11 a side floodlit 3G pitches for hire with ample parking, changing rooms and showers. As a tip on weekends it's free to park on the adjacent roads to Battersea Park to avoid the car park fees.
Wandsworth Common has no fewer than 11 full sized grass pitches. The space is in high demand though and bookings are difficult to win. Unfortunately the pitches are much overused, meaning that the playing surface isn’t in the best condition and you will have to provide your own goal posts and markers or else rent them for £20. Pitches cost £60 to £75 depending on the time of booking. Bookings are via firstname.lastname@example.org or 0208 767 1830.
Garratt Park has a single 11 a side senior football pitch and is within walking distance from Earlsfield station. The advantage of this pitch is that it is a bit more secluded and less open compared to the likes of Battersea Park and Wandsworth Common. It can also be used as general training space, particularly for bootcamps and personal training which are both right up the street for the local 'Wandsworth Mums'.
King George's Park is located behind the Southside shopping centre with the Wandle Recereation Centre (5 a side football pitches) backing out on to the grass plains. The grass pitches in King Georges Park are used for 11 a side football during the winter and tag rugby during the summer.
Wandsworth Park is a delightful setting for a game of football, cricket or tennis given that it flanks the River Thames with a tree-lined walkway to one side. During the summer there are two cricket pitches for hire and in the winter two 11 a side football pitches. It's a smart area of town to be playing football and as council football pitches go, these are some of the better ones.
The Tooting Bec football pitches are classic park football pitches in that they are well used (and therefore worn) but battle with dog walkers and the general public. So don't expect smooth, flat lawns by any means as these pitches sort the men from the boys and the women from the girls. Route 1, over the top football is the norm on Tooting Bec Common, any notions of Barcelona Tiki Taka go straight out the window.
Falcon Park is hidden between Battersea Park and Clapham Junction in Wandsworth and is a small park and fairly inconspicuous to most people. It has one mini football pitch for hire for kids which like most other Wandsworth football pitches can be booked through Quadron Services.
Garratt Green is located in Wandsworth, South London in between Tooting Broadway and Earlsfield and not a million miles away from Wimbledon. It has two senior rugby pitches for hire through Wandsworth Council who have partnered with Quadron Services. The rugby pitches are grass and available during the winter. During the summer the grass area can be used for multi-sports such as camps and personal training/bootcamps.
Fishponds Playing Fields are located in Tooting Broadway in Wandsworth and is a small recreation ground with grass pitches. During the winter they are used for senior 11 a side football and junior rugby whilst in the summer they make way for two cricket pitches, one with a grass cricket wicket, the other with an artificial wicket. There is a also a long jump pit and a running track.
Roehampton Playing Fields are in between Putney Heath and Barnes in a very leafy part of South West London. The grass playing fields have space for a 11 a side football, lacrosse and junior football during the winter which make way for cricket squares in the summer, with a grass pitch and an artificial pitch. There is also a large multi-use games area which is predominately used for tennis and netball all year round. Other sports can take place at the Roehampton Playing Fields with notable activities being kids holiday camps (usually multi-sport) and adult fitness classes such as bootcamps and personal training sessions.