Exeter City’s new 3G training pitch at Clifford Hill Training Ground was officially opened with supporters, and those who helped with the construction of the new state-of-the-art facility were invited to a special unveiling and watch a training session from the under-16 academy team.
The artificial pitch utilises the latest innovative cork filled carpet laid on a shock-pad to provide a high durable quality playing surface and will prove to be an essential facility for the club.
ECFC Chairman Julian Tagg spoke glowingly of the work that everyone had put in to get the project to its completion with including property design and management consultants, NPS South West, Sportfields and Desso Sports. He comments: “There are so many people I have to say thank you to and they have all helped in delivering a top-class product in a top-class way including: Paul Wright, the late Clifford Hill’s representative; Chris Jay, from NPS South West; project manager Mike Phillips; staff from Sportfields Ltd, councillor Mike Howe, and his colleagues from East Devon District Council, and Desso Sport.
The artificial pitch utilises the latest innovative cork filled ‘carpet’ laid on a shock-pad to provide a high durable quality playing surface and will prove to be an essential facility for the Club. Historic issues such as weather have affected training sessions, travelling to other training facilities and cancelled games. This will now be avoided, as the durable new pitch will enable training to continue, regardless of the weather, and help maintain the quality of the grass training pitches over the winter period. In addition, flood lighting will also ensure that the pitch can be utilised for longer periods.
Property design and management consultants, NPS South West based in Exeter helped to bring the training ground improvement scheme to fruition. The 670k project created a full sized floodlit 3G artificial pitch for use by the professional club, the academy, ‘Football in the Community’ and the wider community of Exeter and East Devon. The pitch mirrors the size of that at St James’ Park, ‘home’ of the first team and will be one of the first pitches of this type in the UK.
Chris Jay, Director of Design and Maintenance NPS said: “This has been an exciting project and is one of the first pitches in the country to use the pioneering cork filled carpet, which will help to keep the team training and playing throughout all seasons and, also serve the local community.”
Manager Paul Tisdale added that it was a proud day for the club. He said: “The project has been many years in the making and there is a lot of staff at City to thank for enabling them to get the money to be able to achieve this project. It’s an innovative surface and the details are with the cork and with the type of carpet. The ball moves very quickly and as close to a grass surface as I have ever been on.”