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Boro Academy invests in top artificial football pitch to retain Cat. 1 status


Middlesbrough FC – Boro for the fans – is one of the oldest English football clubs. The first team currently plays in the Championship, England’s second league. However, Boro’s top-notch training facility still place it among England’s elite clubs. A new Profoot MXSi TLT artificial outdoor turf from Lano Sports confirms that status.

“Rockliffe Park, our training base, is quite unique”, says Tony Bell, head groundsman at Middlesbrough FC. “The club is situated in the leafy village of Hurworth and the scenic surroundings and tranquil setting are loved by all our football teams, from U8s up to the first team. They can choose between ten grass pitches, a half-sized artificial indoor pitch and a full-sized artificial outdoor pitch.”

Players’ delight

“The outdoor artificial pitch is especially useful for training in all conditions”, Tony continues. “But after more than 20 years of wear and tear, we needed to replace the pitch in 2019. Cleveland Land Services, our partner for sports field construction, recommended Lano Sports as the go-to option for artificial turf. We visited some of their pitches in England and abroad. The superior quality immediately convinced us, so we decided to go with the Profoot MXSi TLT. An excellent choice: it looks wonderful and all the players are stunned.”

A three-ingredient combo

“We’ve been working with Middlesbrough FC for a long time”, says Stephen Miller, contracts director at Cleveland Land Services. “We know that retaining Cat. 1 status is one of the top priorities for Boro Academy, because it allows them to take youth development to the next level. As a result, when Boro asked for our advice, Lano Sports was the obvious match. Their highly competitive price, technologically advanced pitches and excellent service form the perfect combo. That’s no secret: in 2019, we installed over 80,000 square metres of artificial turf from Lano Sports.”

Top 10 academy

For Boro Academy, only the best is good enough – and they have the numbers to back it up: the academy is the 10th-most productive in the country when it comes to turning out professional football stars, according to research by Training Ground Guru. “To live up to our reputation, we constantly look for ways to further improve Rockliffe Park”, Tony concludes. “Our Cat. 1 status is now under review, but we’re confident that our efforts, including the new Lano Sports pitch, will pay off.”


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