0 Close-season work begins

Just three days after the summer concert at the Stadium of Light, the club's team of groundstaff have started the arduous task of preparing the playing surface for next season.

With the temporary flooring and stage now removed, head groundsman Adrian Partridge and his team have begun to remove the top layer of the playing surface, which was voted in the Barclays Premier League's top three last season.

They will remove 40 millimetres of material, which will then be transported to the Academy of Light for future use.

A fleet of trucks will deliver almost 600 tonnes of fibresand over the next two days before work begins to spread a new layer of material across the playing area.

The pitch will then be re-seeded and left to grow over the summer in time for the start of the new campaign.

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