Opening phase of Brighouse Town pitch extension completed

Phase one of the pitch extension at Brighouse Town's ground has been completed with phase two – re-adjustment and installation of new floodlights – to follow next week.

Life-vice president Ray McLaughlin, who is in charge of the project, is delighted with the way the work has been carried out by three stoic members of the Brighouse-based Heffernan Utilities Company.

"They have reported to the ground from 7.30am each day since last Tuesday and worked in all weathers to remove the pitchside posts at the Quarry End of the ground and also the one metre wide concrete pathway at the back of the goals and then scoop out a trench to take the topsoil ahead of the turf which went down this past Tuesday," informed McLaughlin.

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"I cannot on behalf of the club thank their Managing Director Luke Heffernan and his co-directors enough.

"All we need then is for some, dare I say, rain to assist with our normal pitch watering to get the turf bedded in with its rootage.

"I would like to thank Darren Muhl, James Moore and Joe Gill for their unstinting efforts and our groundstaff of Peter Hirst, Barry Thomas and Darren Laycock for their work also and also ensuring we got prepared at the quarry end for the old goalmouth area to be dug out to take new turf as well.

"We have also worked to plans left by our groundsman Wally Hemingway to seed the touchline and the clubhouse goalmouth along with the necessary dressings that are put down in the close season."

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This added work has all come about after the the new ground grading team from the FA at their Wembley HQ came to inspect the pitch last summer and found that it was not 100 metres in length, but fine width-wise.

If the work had not been carried out the Town, who have to adjust the positioning of their dugouts and the new half-way line, they would not have been allowed to kick off the 2024-25 season and in all probability been left with having to leave Step 4 of the Football Pyramid system.

With the extension it means the floodlights are not near the corners of the new pitch markings and it means phase two will see new lighting on the pylons and to also meet the Lux requirement.

Kevin Allsop, father of the club's defender Jamie Allsop, and managing director of Wakefield company Living Smarter Limited, trading as Eco Energy Saving Solutions, has been on site to work out with his electrical engineers what was needed. This, and the cost of it, has been given to the club and with the lights in stock, it is hoped they can commence work next week and complete before the end of June.

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There were fears that the project could be a timely affair and that is why all pre-season friendlies for July were away from home and a pitch-hiring contract sorted with Pontefract Collieries for a league or cup game had it not been ready in time, but now by mid-July the pitch could well be playable.