Accies Splash £750k On New Pitch: Hamilton have splashed out £750,000 to ensure their plastic pitch does not come out bottom of the pile again in the new season.
The news comes 24 hours after the artificial turf at New Douglas Park was rated the worst surface among Scotland’s 42 senior clubs following a survey of players.
A study organised jointly by PFA Scotland, Sports Labs and the Scottish Football Association found top-flight professionals gave the 3G turf an average score of just 1.18 out of five – worse even than the rutted patch found at League Two minnows Albion Rovers’ Cliftonhill home.
That led PFA Scotland chief Fraser Wishart to renew calls for such pitches to be banned in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
But Accies say they are investing in a new Greenfields MX pitch to ensure they do not find themselves embroiled in another turf controversy.
The club stated on their website: “The hard work continues at New Douglas Park over the summer with the installation of a new FIFA-approved, state-of-the-art, 3G pitch in preparation for our 5th consecutive season in the top flight of Scottish Football.
“The club have made a significant investment of £750,000 on the pitch project, signalling a continued commitment to both our first team and well renowned youth academy in ensuring they are afforded the very best playing surface available.
“The 2018-19 season will see the New Douglas Park surface tailored to the same specifications as the Scottish FA’s 3G pitch at the Oriam, Scotland’s National Performance Centre – a facility the governing body itself describes as ‘world class’.
“The project is being completed in partnership with a number of the leading companies within the sports grounds industry to ensure the pitch is installed to the highest standards.”
Accies head groundsman William Watson added: “We have left no stone unturned in our drive to bring the best playing surface available to Hamilton Accies. Over the past 18 months we have gone through a thorough process of data collection and club visits.
“Greenfields MX is widely used in elite sport across Europe. It is used in Holland by various top tier clubs including Vitesse, by English Premier League side Arsenal at their state-of-the-art London Colney training centre and, in Scotland, by Alloa Athletic.”
Alloa’s Recreation Park was rated 10th overall of the 42 clubs in the SPFL.
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