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Bristol City defender Cunningham begins work on tearing up the old Ashton Gate pitch

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: April 30, 2014

Bristol City wing-back Greg Cunningham getting started on the pitch removal yesterday so a new Desso surface can be installed at Ashton Gate

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The current season might still be in play but Ashton Gate's groundstaff are already preparing for next season, with a little help from Bristol City defender Greg Cunningham.

With the installation of the new Desso pitch brought forward to this summer, work has already begun to ensure the playing surface is perfect for the next campaign.

Craig Richardson, grounds manager at Ashton Gate, who was recently highly commended by the Football League, said: "It's fantastic that the new Desso pitch is coming this summer.

"Although it brings different challenges for us I'm confident that my team and I will rise to the occasion and it will result in a better facility."

As City's final home game drew to a close contractors were ready and waiting to get started.

And Cunningham was given the chance to "tear up the left wing" in a slightly different way as he made the first cut yesterday afternoon.

Just as many Premier League and Championship clubs have done, installing a Desso Grassmaster pitch should ensure the ground is always in the best possible condition whatever the weather.

A Desso pitch is composed of natural grass combined with artificial fibres, which will help strengthen the playing surface. There will also be the provision for under-soil heating.

Martin Griffiths, chairman of Bristol Sport, the company managing the stadium redevelopment, said: "After the horrendous weather this winter it's shown us how crucial it is to seize every new technology available and use it to our advantage. The Desso does just that as we build for the future and ensures we have a pitch that is up there with a Premier League standard surface."

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