Turf Moor pitch used as Olympic standard

Burnley Football Club Olympic delegates

Burnley Football Club Olympic delegates

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A WORLD-LEADING company is using Turf Moor as an example of football training pitches set to be used at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Burnley’s gold standard pitch is considered among the best in Britain and representatives from sports surface consultancy firm STRI brought delegates from the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games to inspect it first-hand.

The Bingley-based business, which also manages pitches for the World Cup, European Championships and Champions League, toured facilities in Burnley to demonstrate the quality of playing surfaces at training venues for 24 countries competing at the Olympic Games.

Lee Penrose, strategic projects manager at STRI, explained that Turf Moor was being used as a “benchmark” of excellence.

“I am a Burnley fan and I know Paul Bradshaw, the Turf Moor groundsman, so asked him and his staff if it would be possible to show them the stadium pitch and go down to Gawthorpe to have a look at the training pitches.

“The pitch at Turf Moor is stunning and is one of the top five in the country and the feedback I have had from all those who came along has been first-class.

“It’s our brief to make sure all the football pitches are up to standard. The stadium pitches are not a problem but we also have to make sure the training pitches are up to standard.

“I wanted to show representatives from LOCOG and representatives from the training venues a professional-quality pitch being maintained to the highest standard.”

Paul, who was shortlisted for last season’s Championship groundsman of the year award, and assistant Barry O’Brien talked the delegates through the upkeep of the Turf Moor pitch. The playing surface underwent a £750,000 renovation in the summer of 2010 when a new Desso Grass surface was laid.

As part of the ground tour, he also spelled out the expectations of coaches and players to the pitches they work on as Turf Moor hit the gold standard.