Diggers in at Harrogate Town as plastic pitch days end for football heroes

The diggers are in and the old pitch is being stripped as progress picks up pace towards the restoration of a new grass surface after Harrogate Town won promotion to the English  Football League.

Tuesday, 11th August 2020, 2:11 pm
The diggers are in! The scene at CNG Stadium in Harrogate this week as the 3G pitch is dug up. Picture Gerard Binks

Specialist grass teams could be seen hard at work at CNG Stadium on Wetherby Road today as the town's triumphant football club puts its plastic revolution into reverse to meet strict EFL rules for a top tier team after its play-offs triumph at Wembley.

Management have already accepted that Town's heroic footballers will have to play their first few ‘home’ fixtures of the 2020/21 season away from Harrogate in a short-term ground-share with League One side Doncaster Rovers.

But managing director Garry Plant said the team were confident that relaying a grass surface was happening according to plan.

Sands of time - The 3G pitch disappears at CNG Stadium as Harrogate Town prepare for their first season in the English Football League. Picture Gerard Binks

Mr Plant said: "Installing the 3G pitch was integral to the continued development of the club and we are now returning to grass, line marking, water and fertiliser.

"The work is proceeding on schedule and we eagerly await the first green shoots once the seed is down."

Town's first exciting season in the Football League proper will kick off on the weekend of September 12 when the 2020/21 Season gets under way across the Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two.

With a capacity of just more than 5,000, the CNG Stadium is one of the smallest in League Two - a 24 team division which has an average ground capacity of 10,938.

But Mr Plant said the club were looking forward to playing in the EFL for the first time in its history.

And ripping up the 3G pitch did not mean ripping up the way things were done at Harrogate Town, a club which has built up a reputation for good football, calm professionalism and a family-friendly culture.

Mr Plant said: "We are looking forward to our EFL future and building even stronger links to the community in Harrogate."

"We will stick rigidly to the core values that have seen the club develop on and off the field over recent years leading to promotion to The English Football League - feet on the ground, hard work, drive and honesty."

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