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Crawley’s new pitch earns respect

Features, News, Sport / 4th April 2019

The new stadium pitch at Crawley Town Football Club, which was designed by STRI, is winning praise from rival managers.


STRI project managed the upgrade of the the pitch at The People’s Pension Stadium between May and August in 2018, as part of their role as turf consultants to Premier League club Brighton & Hove Albion.


Brighton provided funds to upgrade the pitch at Crawley Town in return for use of the stadium by their women’s team.



Football stadium

Crawley Town FC ,The People’s Pension Stadium, 2018


STRI’s Dr Richard Gibbs, who led the project said:”It’s really pleasing to see a great collaboration between a Premier League club and a League Two club. Both clubs worked alongside Premier Pitches, Complete Turfcare and STRI to ensure work was completed in time for the start of the season.


“The upgrade was completed under a tight timeframe between May and August in 2018. This meant that establishment of the turf took place in record breaking temperatures we experienced during the 2018 summer heatwave.


“The pitch has exceeded expectation, performing well throughout the winter without any significant damage to the pitch. It is a testament to the collaboration between all parties, and the groundsmen at Crawley.”


Speaking after Mansfield’s clash with Crawley, Stags’ manager, David Flitcroft, told crawleytownfc.com: “The wind and rain was coming in all afternoon. At one point, we even made a call to see if the game might be called off because it had been that bad. But we got down here and it’s one of the best pitches we’ve played on. All credit to Crawley for whatever they’ve done. You can see their plan and how they want to play football, and it’s all down to a quality pitch.”


Crawley groundsman Ben Harwood said: “The work that was done last summer, which was only possible because of the financial help from Brighton, has really paid off. We haven’t lost a game this season touch wood. The drainage is superb. As soon as it stopped raining yesterday it was as dry as a bone.”