Dungannon Swifts take out loan from UEFA to fund installation of new 3G pitch, chairman Keith Boyd reveals

The much-loved ground at Stangmore Park will no longer be at the end of the season as Dungannon Swifts become the latest club to switch to an artificial playing surface.

he expanding nature of the Tyrone club forced the board to make the pragmatic decision to raise the turf at the end of the season and lay a new 3G pitch in time for the new campaign.

“We’re going to start work after our last home game of the season, and we hope to have it finished by July,” Swifts chairman Keith Boyd said.

“Everyone likes the pitch here, but it’s old now and there are just too many games needed because of the number of teams we have now.

“Like all other Premiership clubs, we have opened up to the community and we now have 15 teams where in the past we had maybe two or three.

“You can’t have all these players using the pitch for all training and all games, it’s not sustainable, so we needed a 4G facility.

“There are few facilities around Dungannon so we decided the best option was to go ahead and lay an artificial surface ourselves.”

Funding will not come from Stormont’s legendary Sub-Regional Stadia project which has been the subject of much discussion this week, as the Swifts were instead given a low-interest loan from UEFA to replace the ground .

“We couldn’t wait for sub-regional funding because we couldn’t count on getting it, so we moved on and decided to do it ourselves,” Boyd added. “The money comes from a loan from UEFA and the pitch will be up to UEFA standards, but we will have to repay the loan.

“I like a grass surface myself, but unfortunately the club has to hold on somehow.”

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