GRASSROOTS football will benefit from a major new initiative on Thursday (August 4) when the synthetic pitch at Ewen Fields is formally "launched".
Tameside Council has provided funding of £415,000 for a GreenFields MX Trimension 50 (FIFA 2*) surface at the home of Hyde United AFC. It is the very latest in artificial turf technology and will be available for community-use seven days a week.
The pitch – and associated training and classroom facilities – is part of a wider £20 million investment in leisure provision by Tameside Council which includes a 25-metre swimming pool at next-door Active Hyde, Walker Lane.
It also fits in with two of the authority’s 16 for 2016 pledges: Healthy Lives and Do More Together. From September, academy students from the football club will be taking free community coaching sessions for schools every weekday between 3.30 and 5pm.
Cllr Kieran Quinn, the executive leader of Tameside Council who will be attending the launch with the Civic Mayor, Cllr Philip Fitzpatrick, said: “This project is good for Hyde United and Tameside, and demonstrates our commitment to the town of Hyde.
“Whereas until recently the ground was only used for a few hours each week, it is now available all seven days and not just to the football club, but to the entire Hyde community. A new women’s side called Tameside United has already been established.
“Tameside Council has invested in the best 3G surface available and I look forward to seeing the people of Hyde, and further afield, taking full advantage of it to improve their sports skills and fitness levels, or simply to enjoy a social game.”
The GreenFields MX Trimension 50 surface is much more advanced than the basic Baspograss pitch laid at Ewen Fields 30 years ago. It is considered to be as good as the best natural grass and to negate all lingering complaints about synthetic turf.
Not only are the fibres of varying composition and size, but they are also woven into the top layer. This results in “clumps” of grass and the same texture as natural cover.
The pitch was used for the first time in Hyde United’s friendly with Guiseley on July 19 when players and spectators both stated their satisfaction. It passed its Fifa test two days later.