The move looks to make the Anfield pitch closer to perfection year-round, and the hybrid elements are grown in plots on site.
“Its patented technology reinforces the natural grass by holding polyethylene fibers at the carpet base to a height of 45mm to be retained in the grass sward. It is then in-filled with sand, which is carefully selected to deliver optimal drainage and playing performance.”
The percentage is 95% grass and 5% artificial fibers, and “the carpet is laid over 10,000sqm and is filled with 40mm of sand across the surface. The surface is then seeded using specially selected cultivars, including four different types of perennial ryegrass – 25 per cent Monroe, 30 per cent Eurocordus, 25 per cent Guldara and 20 per cent Europitch. Each cultivar has different characteristics to perform better at different times of year.”
Both in- and on-site, the elements of the pitch are grown, monitored, and installed by Liverpool FC ground staff, so the project is 100% in-house.
The move continues an urge to remain at the cutting edge:
“In 2017, the Reds installed the UK’s first in-stadia ‘Permavoid’ drainage system, as well as a new undersoil heating system, installed to help aid growth and also prevent the ground from freezing during the winter months. The new hybrid pitch will be laid on top of the system, providing the ultimate playing surface.
“The installation of the new turf has already begun with the removal of the old pitch, including 60mm of rootzone and the existing Desso fibres. LFC ground staff will then undertake preparatory field work ready for the laying of the hybrid carpet at the beginning of July, adding 15mm of fresh rootzone and cultivating the surface.
“The pitch is expected to take only three days to be laid, allowing three weeks grow-in and establishment period ahead of the new season – one of the key benefits of the hybrid carpet system. Within days, roots will develop through the backing of the carpet and turf to form a reinforced natural playing surface.
“Once laid, data tools will be used to regularly monitor pitch conditions to ensure the playing surface feels and reacts the same as the club’s training pitches at the AXA Training Centre, creating the perfect pitch for playing football.”