Over one hundred dignitaries attended the ceremony, which saw children from the surrounding areas given the chance to grace the new turf and enjoy sessions run by The FA Skills team. Local disability side Langford Tigers also had the opportunity to showcase their skills and test out the carpet.
After the honour of officially opening the sparkling new facility Dyke said: “It’s great to be down here in Sussex, and I’m delighted to be at this grand opening of the Sussex County FA’s new 3G pitch.
“This for me is what grassroots football is all about, and I think at grassroots we will increasingly see football played on these surfaces, not exclusively, but they are so much more economical and make sense being lovely playing surfaces like this one.
“We all know local authorities budgets are tight, so they can’t maintain the grass pitches like they have done in the past, but if we can build more of these, like they did in Germany and Holland, then I think it will do a lot to help grassroots football.
“It’s fantastic that this project here has been funded with a loan from Barclays, and that’s given me food for thought as to whether The FA could help guarantee these types of loans, as opposed to giving the money and that way, we may be able to do many more of these quickly… it’s a very interesting idea and I applaud the Sussex County FA for demonstrating that this is possible and quite clearly that it works, as this is absolutely brilliant!”
The project to transform the existing grass pitch to an artificial surface, at a cost of £406,000 was funded by the Sussex County FA with the support of Barclays; and took just sixty five days from the first blade of grass being taken up, to FIFA inspecting the freshly laid surface.
Management of the project was handled by Surfacing Standards Ltd, Velocity Elite Sports Surfaces were appointed to carry out the installation, and the carpet itself was supplied by Lano Sports.
For further information about the new artificial 3G surface and to enquire about hiring the facility please contact the Sussex County FA stadium office:
T: 01903 768575