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Town's Ground Staff Highly Commended
Friday, 6th May 2022 11:41

Town’s ground staff has been highly commended by the EFL for the quality of the playing surface at Portman Road during 2021/22.

Bolton Wanderers won Grounds Team of the Season for League One with the Blues and Lincoln City both highly commended.

Pitches were marked by referees and away managers at all games with Neil Rodger from STRI (Sports Turf Research Institute) then visiting the top performers for further assessments on quality, environmental conditions and usage, resources, management and sustainability.

The Playing Surfaces Committee then determined the winners from their reports and recommendations.

Highly Commended clubs receive a certificate, while the winners get a trophy and a certificate.

Ben Connell, Town's grounds manager, told the club site: “The ground staff team take great pride in producing the best playing surface we can at Portman Road.

“Our ownership group have been fantastic in giving us the resources and funds we need to maintain the high standards of our surfaces at both Portman Road and Playford Road.

“I’d like to place on record my gratitude to all of my staff for their hard work throughout the season.”

Town's pitch is currently 100 per cent natural grass, something now unusual for a club of the Blues' size.

The installation of a new Desso surface [a hybrid natural grass artificial fibre pitch] was initially planned for this summer but will now take place in the close season ahead of 2023/24.

Sky Bet Championship

Grounds Team of the Season - AFC Bournemouth
Highly Commended - Middlesbrough
Highly Commended - Nottingham Forest

Sky Bet League One
Grounds Team of the Season - Bolton Wanderers
Highly Commended - Ipswich Town
Highly Commended - Lincoln City

Sky Bet League Two
Grounds Team of the Season - Newport County
Highly Commended - Bradford City
Highly Commended - Exeter City
Highly Commended - Tranmere Rovers

Photo: Blair Ferguson

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Suffolkboy added 13:01 - May 6
This is super news ! Travelling from Kent for now approaching 50 yrs we used regularly to bring a car load who marvelled it the wonderful pitch and playing surface at Portman Road .
There must be many who remember the days when it was regarded as then the best in the country : so glad the ‘new ‘ ITFC are determined to renew the surface and enable good football week in week out .
Congratulations to the Ground Staff team !

dirtydingusmagee added 13:26 - May 6
well done gang, our ground always used to the dogs do da's , good to see we still have a decent ground even if our Lge status has not faired well past decade.

bigolconnor added 13:58 - May 6
Congratulations Ben. Just in time to dig it all up and replace it with a plastic hybrid then. Well, maybe after we win the best grounds team next season. Oh and the league.

Cakeman added 15:22 - May 6
Great effort from all the ground staff who work wonders in producing a very good surface out of very tired soil.
Really looking forward to the new pitch with under soil heating next year though.

TimmyH added 15:33 - May 6
Do they get a rosette? :)

shaunmahony added 15:39 - May 6
Some time in the 70's I think it was when the pitch was used for an England hockey international - that is a big testimonial to its quality/evenness

Billybobblue added 16:12 - May 6
Tranmere Rovers - Highly commended?
League 2 must have some awful pitches (based on the Tranmere pitch when we played them 2020/21 season)

TractorBeezer added 17:23 - May 6
Well done Ben and team!


TractorRob added 08:31 - May 7
I noted at the Charlton game - the last of the season how there were not any apparent bare patches even in the goalmouths. Well done.

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