Leigh Sports Village has three training pitches and is home to the Leigh Centurions rugby team and the under-21 squads of Manchester United FC and Blackburn FC. It is also used as a temporary training ground and match base for touring teams in Europe. The Sports Village is located close to the Pennington Flash, which means it sometimes experiences rapid temperature dips. This meant the pitches required a surface that could withstand both the demands of play and complex climatic conditions.
Johnsons seed has been used at Leigh Sports Village for the past nine years. J Premier Pitch has been sown on the stadium pitch and training grounds because of the top rated cultivars in the mixture. It provides good wear and better coverage over the winter months compared to other seed mixtures, and provides excellent recovery between uses.
J Rescue and Pro Master 79 from DLF were also applied to help prepare the pitches for the winter.
Due to the success achieved with the J Premier Pitch mix, the grounds team decide to the new coated seed option from Johnsons - J Nitro Premier Pitch - which was applied after renovation work. The pitch was taken out of use for the full spring renovation but was back ready for play in a matter of weeks.
Groundsman Keith Porter said: "The J Premier Pitch mix establishes very quickly and handles early play well. The ProNitro® option further enhance this, offering improved establishment, stronger plants and cost savings from not having to apply a separate fertiliser. We only sowed the J Nitro Premier Pitch at the beginning of May and three weeks down the line I can’t believe how quickly and strong it’s coming through.”
The pitch speaks for itself. Keith receives a lot of positive feedback from players and clubs, and teams want to come back to use the facilities. He added: "Bayern Munich were over recently for a Champions League match against Manchester United, and they used the pitch and appreciated it so much they asked if they could come back and train again the next day!”