Delight for Tis as work starts on 3G pitch at the Cliff Hill Training Ground

Simon Larkinsin Football

Desso CorkInfill
The installation of a 3G pitch at Exeter City's Cliff Hill Training Ground is well under way thanks to work from NPS, Sportfields and Desso Sports.

The state-of-the-art pitch will be built to the same size as the playing field at St James Park using a contemporary cork infill surface and is set to be completed by the 17th of December.

It will benefit the club greatly as it will enable the first team to train effectively during the winter months and also be a facility that Exeter City's Academy, Football in the Community charity and the Ladies team will be able to use all year.

Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale, now in his 11th season at St James Park, said: "This project is one of the highlights of my time at Exeter. It is one of the biggest investments we have had since I have been here and will cover every aspect of the club.

"The pitch will not just for the first team it will go right down to the under-8s. This is an all-encompassing facility for the whole club to use. It will take us forward, not just in ticking boxes in terms of the facilities, but in what we want to achieve."

"It is going to be a contemporary facility," added Paul. "There are a lot of 3G pitches around the country, but not this type of pitch with the new type of cork infill and all the details that make it very state-of-the-art.

"The project is exciting because it shows the development at the club. The 3G pitch is something we have spoken about for eight or nine years and it has been created from windfalls - from selling players and winning FA Cup games - and that is what so pleasing about it. We have created it ourselves. We haven't borrowed a penny - there are no loans, no grants - it is ours and it is going to be a leading facility so I'm delighted."

Drainage Installation ECFC 3G Pitch
Exeter City's chairman Julian Tagg added: "After many years of planning, effort and patience the satisfaction of seeing the contractors arrive on Monday was immense.

"Despite the magnificent efforts of our groundstaff, it has been excruciating on occasions to watch our players training in the mud or having to travel to other venues to get whatever facilities might be available.

"Thanks must go to all those involved, including Paul Wright the late Clifford Hill's representatives.

"This capital expenditure is a significant step in Exeter City's progression."

Property design and management consultant, NPS South West, based in Exeter, supported the football club in bringing the first stage of their training ground improvement scheme to fruition.

NPS provided full design services, including feasibility design, the planning application and procurement.

NPS worked closely with the club and provided a multi-disciplined service: architecture; building services; civils; project management and CDM Advisor for the whole of the project.

Following a competitive tender process, the project was won by Sportfields Limited, Bristol, and Desso Sports, who beat off stiff competition.

Chris Jay, Director of Design and Maintenance NPS said: "This is a very exciting project for the club and we worked very closely with them to provide a full service.

"It's 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."

Shock Pad Installation
Sportfields - a specialist sports field construction company who build artificial and natural sport pitches throughout the UK - won the tender process against six other specialist companies. They started work on site on Monday, September 26, and will follow that through all the way to the handover of the site to Exeter City.

Nigel Peacock Contracts Director Sportfields Ltd, said: "Sportfields are proud to be involved in this initiative with Exeter City FC who have shown a total commitment which we will match in the delivery of this state of the art training facility."

Desso Sports Systems provide the state-of-the-art cork infill carpet for the pitch, which will be laid by Sportfields.

Gilly Burrows, UK Sales Manager for Desso Sports Surfaces, said: "We are extremely excited to supply Exeter City FC with our first UK cork infill 3G pitch.

"Our state-of-the-art system using Desso iDNA X Smart will offer the players quality performance and comfort. This natural infill is extremely environmentally friendly and sustainable, and does not give off any fumes.

"A key benefit to the players is that the surface will remain cool regardless of the surrounding temperature resulting in reduced energy loss through the body.

"We look forward to seeing the club go from strength to strength with this excellent new facility."