Belfast Telegraph

PSG pitch expert gives Sky Blues upgrade advice

 

By Billy Weir

The man responsible for preparing the pitch for the world's most expensive footballer was on turf much closer to home this week.

Co Antrim native Jonathan Calderwood, who is groundsman at Paris St Germain's magnificent Parc des Princes stadium, was at the Ballymena Showgrounds to pass on a few tips, although Neymar is not likely to be following in his footsteps.

The Warden Street pitch has come under fire for many a long year and the club working alongside Mid and East Antrim Council have ambitious plans to improve things next summer.

With the Broughshane man back home, it was the perfect opportunity to take advantage of his expertise so that the green shoots of recovery take hold on the Sky Blues' pitch.

Before moving to Paris, Calderwood's CV included Glentoran, Wolves, Aston Villa and Wembley, so tackling the Braid sward should be a doddle.

United vice-chairman Don Stirling explained: "It was great to have Jonathan's input and it was a very useful exercise for ourselves and the Council, who will be the lead players in the development.

"We hope to start work in the summer, which will see the pitch raised and re-laid, meaning it will be suitable for European football. If all goes according to plan, the pitch will be ready in time for the SuperCup NI."

Belfast Telegraph

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