Exeter City can look forward to playing their football on a 'Championship standard' pitch this season, according to head groundsman Clive Pring.
The Grecians have spent £150,000 on relaying the surface at St James's Park this summer - the first time the ground has seen such improvements for more than 100 years.
The final piece of turf was laid on the new-look pitch just under two weeks ago.
Since then Pring and his band of workers have been busy doing all they can to ensure it will be strong enough to sustain football by the time of the first pre-season friendly at the Park - against Bristol City on July 26.
And while he admits that he will feel slightly apprehensive on the eve of that fixture, Pring believes within time the new playing surface will be on a par with those belonging to clubs even higher up the football pyramid.
He said: "Certainly our pitch should fit in with pitches in the Championship environment. Hopefully we'll see that next season.
"We have obviously got to aim for a Championship standard in the long run because that's where the club wants to go.
"Obviously two or three years ago when we were going away to Farsley Celtic and Droylsden, our pitch always looked like one of the better ones, whereas last season going to places like Charlton and Leeds and places where they've spent a lot of money ours wasn't in that league.
"We definitely should be somewhere closer to that now."
Even so, Pring admits that the club will be stepping into the unknown as far as their new pitch is concerned - at least for the early part of the season, while the turf is still relatively young.
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