idverde Sports Surfaces was commissioned by Sheffield United FC in July 2019 to install two Mixto hybrid turf pitches at its , idverde’s first Premiership client.
Works commenced at the beginning of August and included:
- Install secondary drainage system
- Upgrade and extend irrigation system
- Amelioration of the sub carpet root zone
- Install two Mixto hybrid turf pitches (total area 14,000m2)
Starting late in the season meant that idverde had its work cut out to get the job done and the pitches seeded in time to take advantage of the remaining grass growing season.
The pitches and the surrounding areas already had an efficient primary drainage system in place, but idverde improved the surface drainage by installing gravel bands at 1m intervals across the site.
At the same time, idverde upgraded the irrigation system to ensure that, once complete, the whole of the Mixto surface would be covered by the irrigation.
Prior to installation of the Mixto carpet, around 500 tonnes of sand were imported, spread and incorporated to the root zone.
The Mixto was to be installed across the whole of the site, not just the pitches, but the dimensions of the site were irregular. In order to ensure ease of installation, and that there were no lateral joints and no wastage, the Mixto carpet was specially manufactured in Italy so that it came in rolls of exactly the right length to traverse the site north to south.
The Mixto carpet was filled with rootzone in record time and the pitches were seeded on 23rd August.
Following installation, the new surface was left in the expert care of the Head Groundsman and his team, and within just seven weeks the pitches were in use.
Head Groundsman, Kelly Barrowclough, provided the following feedback on the Mixto installation.
What difference has Mixto made to the pitches at the academy?
The pitches this year have performed brilliantly; they’ve stayed and played consistently from day one. We normally lose grass in the goalmouths and the edge of the penalty areas due to the different sizes of games played during training sessions, but this year nothing.
How much time does Mixto save your team repairing pitches?
After a training session or full scale training match we normally walk over the pitch used. It’s a token gesture, a few scuff marks, 40 minutes max. The pitches during this winter were cleaned off on Tuesdays and Fridays using rotary mowers and the odd run-over with the Dennis cylinder mower.
Have the gravel bands under the carpet significantly improved the drainage?
We opted to install gravel bands under the carpet as it would be impossible to install them afterwards if a problem occurred. This year in Sheffield we’ve had the wettest October and February on record, and as of today, 6th March, we have only lost one training day due to water. The next day we were back to normal.
Mixto has been a great addition to our training ground. The time we spend repairing pitches has fallen remarkably, allowing staff to concentrate on other duties that normally get pushed to the back of the queue. Player feedback has also been positive, so we’re having discussions within the club about having two more Mixto pitches installed in the near future.