Having overseen the work carried out by Fineturf at the LNER Stadium and Soper of Lincoln Elite Performance Centre, Head of Football, Jez George spoke about the recent pitch construction and renovations and how the changes made will suit Lincoln City and Michael Appleton’s style of football.
“These works will help massively. I think everyone saw how difficult it was to play on the pitch last season.”
“The players need to trust the roll of the ball to have the confidence to play in the way we want to play, and the pitch will be so much more conducive to that next season. We want to create every possible home advantage at the LNER Stadium. Our fans do that for us off the pitch, but we also need to help the players on the pitch with the best quality surface possible,” said Jez.
“The remedial work done by Fineturf was absolutely the best course of action to radically improve the existing surface without making a huge investment on a newly constructed fibre sand pitch. It will make a big difference to the quality of the pitch over the next 12 months. We took a calculated risk to bring forward this work at the start of lockdown but with so much uncertainty over when a decision would be made for this season, and the prospect of no time for a pitch renovation at that time ahead of a new season, it was definitely the right thing to do and we will now reap the rewards.”
As well as the changes at the LNER Stadium, Jez explained how the work at the Soper of Lincoln Elite Performance Centre will benefit both the First Team and Scholars going forward.
“The development of the Soper of Lincoln Elite Performance Centre will 100% help to deliver on our strategy of developing players to create future assets, to then reinvest and continually strengthen our team. Michael is an outstanding coach, but we also need the right quality of pitches. We have made great strides towards that and through our partnership with Fineturf, and we will continue to do that year on year.”
Jez went on to explain the benefits for the Academy. “It is also crucial that we can enable our Scholars to train and play their fixtures at the EPC. They need to train and play on grass rather than only 4G and interact daily with the First Team players to maximise their development. Therefore, the quality of the pitches is vital not only for the immediate aim of creating a really competitive First Team but the long-term aim of consistently producing home-grown players.”
“Continuing to develop the EPC is really important to keep moving the Club forward and we now have a facility that we can all be really proud of. The quality of the pitches plays a big part.”
Jez also explained how the hard work of Simon Hutton and his team at Fineturf means this is a relationship the Club wants to develop over the coming years.
“Simon has been the consummate professional throughout the process. We have a lot of trust in him due to his vast knowledge and experience.”
“We’ve built a really good relationship with him and it is fantastic that we can partner with such a highly respected local company.”
It is clear to see that Fineturf’s professionalism and expertise have already brought huge improvements to the pitches at both the LNER Stadium and Soper of Lincoln EPC and we look forward to a successful partnership for many years to come.