Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

New 4G pitch at Seaview is coming along just nicely

The new 4G synthetic pitch at Crusaders is bedding in well, a club spokesman has said.

Mark Langhammer said the club was pleased with how the pitch was performing despite controversy following a recent league game between the Shore Road side and Glentoran.

At the time Glens striker Gary Hamilton said the pitch was dangerous after he sustained an ankle injury in the 1-1 draw.

“I went over on my ankle as my foot stuck in the grass. The damage wouldn't have been severe on an ordinary pitch,” he said at the time.

“It clearly was not ready and it was quite dangerous. A normal pitch allows you more movement when your foot is on the ground.”

Since that incident a couple of weeks ago, Mark said four games had been played on it, while training was taking place on a nightly basis.

“Obviously getting the pitch ready on time was a rush but we are happy with the way things are proceeding,” he said.

“The reaction we have been getting is positive. If we had had the choice we would have stuck with grass but for financial reasons we have went with the new synthetic surface.”

Demand for use of the pitch has been high however Crusaders are holding back on filling all booking spaces because of new work being carried out at the old ground.

By Christmas two new changing rooms will have been fitted underneath the North Stand while an upgrade of the lighting system will be completed in the new year. This is just the latest in a long line of work being

carried out at the north Belfast venue.

Going back to the issue of the pitch, Mark added: “The pitch has its certificate in accordance with IFA rules.

“Our club doctor is monitoring the type and number of injuries this season and will compare it with international studies carried out by Fifa.”

Mark added that Fifa medical studies show the type of injuries do differ with this surface, with more non-contact injuries but less contact injuries.

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