Cliftonville FC’s pitch meets FIFA 2-star standard 8 years running2017-09-20
Cliftonville FC isn’t simply Ireland’s oldest football club: its Solitude stadium in Belfast also boasts a FIFA 2-star quality level pitch for the 8th year in a row. The semi-professional team has reaped the rewards of its 2010 installation of Lano Sports PROFOOT MXSi 60 turf grass pitch, which is playable 24/7, 7 days a week, in all conditions. Four years after our last update on Cliftonville FC’s superior pitch, we caught up with Communications Director David Begley to hear more about the new achievement.
Overcoming every obstacle
“Eight years ago, we were plagued with turf quality issues,” David recounts. “Now, we’ve got a top-quality pitch that other clubs often use when their pitches are in bad shape.” And the field continues to deliver, even after nearly a decade of exciting – even international – matches.
“We’re a community club and dedicated to being right where the action is – here at home where our fans are. This spirit is what drove us to upgrade our pitch in 2010, and we’ve never looked back,” David continues. Before the upgrade, the pitch at the Solitude stadium was poorly drained, an issue only worsened by a nearby reservoir. The club needed a well-drained pitch able to stand up to whatever players could throw at it, all day every day.
Superior quality that lasts
Cliftonville FC chose Lano Sports’ rugged PROFOOT MXSi turf because of its extreme resilience and ability to deliver excellent gameplay in all conditions. After the recent FIFA standards testing, the investment has proven worthwhile.
“For yet another year, the choice we made to invest our hard-won funds in a FIFA-accredited 2-star pitch has paid off,” David asserts. “We’re very proud to have a playing surface that is in line with the world’s high-level football clubs, even after being subject to eight years of near-constant use.” That’s a first in Europe.
From pitch problems to pitch perfect
Over the last four years, Cliftonville FC has gone on to win new titles and new trophies, and several of the team’s victorious championship finals were hosted at home on their own pitch. “Just a few weeks ago, we also hosted Champions League matches here at Solitude. In combination with responsible maintenance, the pitch continues to exceed expectations.”