THEY say that sharing is caring, and sports teams in Bradford and its surrounding areas certainly follow that mantra.

Multiple sports teams share grounds around here, but without doubt, some are happier bedfellows than others.

A 3G pitch is the best example of when sharing works, as there is no worry about damage to the playing surface.

The artificial surfaces installed at Horsfall and Marley in recent years have worked a treat, with Bradford Bulls, Bradford (Park Avenue), West Bowling ARLFC and Bradford Airedale Athletics Club all able to share the former.

Steeton play non-league football at the latter, but it is also used by academy and grassroots teams on a regular basis too.

By this being the case, Horsfall and Marley offer top quality facilities for professionals, semi-pros and amateurs to use alike.

There are flaws naturally. Despite being an all-weather surface, snowfall makes 3G virtually unplayable, meaning Avenue lost crucial revenue when their Boxing Day home game against York City fell by the wayside, when they might have been able to clear snow off a grass pitch for the scheduled 3pm start.

And because of the sharing arrangements at Horsfall, Avenue usually have to play any midweek home games on a Monday night, barely 48 hours after they have finished their Saturday game.

Boss Mark Bower insists there are benefits to that though, and has spoken previously about how the two-day turnaround is the same for both teams, and could involve plenty of travel for a tired away side.

He also pointed out that his players would be fresher for the upcoming weekend, if their opposition for that game had played a midweek game on the Tuesday or Wednesday instead.

Steeton’s move to Marley was hit by huge delays, and though it was due to be their home for the 2020/21 season, they did not get to host a league game there until December 28, 2020, against Nelson, only for the country to head back into national lockdown the following week.

But Roy Mason’s side are now settled there, loving it, and playing on a football-friendly pitch has no doubt helped their attacking play, with Steeton up there with the top scoring sides in the NWCFL First Division North.

The move was certainly worth it, after the issues Steeton had ground sharing with Keighley Cougars at Cougar Park.

Early last year, when the move to Marley was confirmed, Mason said: “The transition from rugby to football is time consuming (at Cougar Park).

“As soon as our games finish, we have to take the goals down and put the rugby posts up for their game (Keighley Cougars’).

“We do that in reverse on a Saturday morning, so it just shows there’s a lot of work involved in the crossover.

“We’ve spent a lot of money on maintenance at Cougar Park too, so we’ve not got to worry about that any more either.

“Marley gives us a facility to train on during the week, then play on at weekends. Not many teams have that luxury.

“Logistically, not having to move things around (between facilities) is a real positive. Having a solid base will make a real difference.”

Another ground sharing arrangement that has caused consternation in recent years is Bradford side Albion Sports being the tenants at Farsley Celtic’s The Citadel, which is still the current arrangement.

Back when he was in charge in 2018, then-Albion manager Kulwinder Sandhu moaned: “We’re the only one of the four Bradford district clubs in the (NCEL) Premier Division without our own ground. The others can put structures in place with development sides, under-18 and under-21 teams.

“We can’t do that as our hands are tied as tenants. We don’t even get a proper pre-season because of our situation (Albion played just a single friendly in 2018 at Yorkshire Amateur on July 7).”

He felt that explained their poor home form at the time, adding: “It doesn’t feel like we’re playing at home. We’re from the middle of Bradford yet we’re playing in Leeds.

“We’ve got more tradition and history than most other sides so I’m desperate to get us back here to Bradford.”

Other ground shares are certainly eyebrow-raisers too.

While Old Grovians RUFC are now undoubtedly playing at better facilities, having moved from their Apperley Bridge home to Otley’s Cross Green, it means that like Albion, they are a Bradford team now playing miles away from the city.

And with the growth of women’s football in the UK, it would be lovely to see Bradford City Women get a ground of their own.

While their sharing with Eccleshill United is not an issue in the sense that the Eagles play on Saturdays and the Bantams on Sundays, it cannot do the grass pitch at the Mitton Group Stadium much good.

And though their one-off clash with Leeds United Women at Valley Parade earlier this season was a huge event, playing there is not a realistic long-term solution.

But could the money be found to give them their own place?

As you can see, there are positives and negatives to ground or facility sharing, and ultimately all that matters is whether it works for your club.

And if it doesn’t, are you in a position to do anything about it?