18 October 2018
In Spring 2017, Championship club Doncaster Knights initiated part of a long-term development plan at Castle Park. Investment was made into a new HYBRID surface for the main pitch, to enable not only more training sessions and matches for the Knights but also to allow all Doncaster Phoenix matches to play on the new surface, including double headers.
During the summer of 2017, Castle Park’s main pitch underwent an extensive off-season transformation with the old surface being removed and replaced with a Hybrid system; ECLIPSE Stabilised Turf.
ECLIPSE Stabilised Turf is iconic in sporting stadia around the world and already has a significant presence in rugby, being the surface at the 2003 and 2011 Rugby World Cups, as well as in use at elite rugby stadiums including Welford Road and Eden Park. ECLIPSE has also been a great success at Brentford FC and The Grove Hotel in the UK, both providing fantastic playing surfaces.
ECLIPSE is 100% natural grass, grown in a unique patented stabilised mat which is perfect for the aesthetic and athletic demands of today’s sports pitch market. It meets all the governing body regulations and is maintained exactly as per a traditional turf surface. ECLIPSE offers the ability to rapidly add and change logos, as well as easy replacement of worn out areas.
The stabilised matting means that the pitch has dramatically increased wear tolerance with a decreased incidence of divoting and ‘in-play’ damage. This attribute of ECLIPSE played a crucial part of the decision process at Doncaster Knights, as the new pitch meant that it could sustain increased use with less deterioration, which lightened the burden on the other four playing surfaces at Castle Park.
With a jam-packed year over, Castle Park’s first season with the Hybrid system of ECILPSE Stabilised Turf successfully withstood an impressive 34 games, 4 festivals and up to 3 training sessions a week. Now a year on, the pitch has seen its first renovation works completed over the summer with astounding results.
This is all made possible by the unique way ECLIPSE Stabilised Turf is designed. The design means that during the renovation process all the old grass and organic material can be completely removed by bespoke renovation machinery.
After years of research and testing it has been proved that by using this machinery it allows a full clean out at the end of each season. This enables the surface to be re-seeded as if it was starting afresh, producing a debris free surface to ensure maximum performance of the pitch for the seasons to follow.