Coleraine's decision to move to a synthetic surface backed up by statistics
The grass pitch at Coleraine Showgrounds is no more as work commenced this week to install a synthetic surface.
The debate over artificial surfaces has raged for a while now but it's advantages to clubs cannot be discounted.
The Bannsiders will become the fourth club in the Danske Bank Premiership to make the move towards the synthetic turf following the likes of Crusaders, Cliftonville and doing so.
The Reds in fact are in the process of relaying their original artificial pitch this summer repplacing it with a Domo VarioSlide S Pro 50/15 pitch.
They along with the north Belfast neighbours Crusaders have benefited a lot over the past decade following their decision to go artificial, and it's no surprise that both clubs, and it's no surprise both clubs have tasted huge amounts of success during this time.
Coleraine will be hoping for similar pay back both on and off the pitch.
Boss Oran Kearney has been a long term advocate for the installation of a synthetic pitch at the Showgrounds as feels it will have massive benefits for not only the club but the community as a whole.
“I’m here a long time now and it’s been something we have tried to achieve for a huge amount of years,” said the Coleraine boss.
“We all know the benefits it will bring off the pitch, but as a team, we train on the 3G at the University and we have had plenty of good results on that surface.
“I think our current pitch plays well in September, October and November time as its slick and the ball moves well on it.
“But there have been other games we have found it tough as we can’t move the ball as fast.
“Training on this arena non-stop will hopefully give us an added advantage.”
The Bannsiders certainly seem at home already on a synthetic surface.
Over the last five seasons they have played 34 games on artificial surfaces with a win rate of 50%, with five draws and 12 defeats.
Last season they won four of their six games on the artificial surfaces losing once at Seaview and Solitude.
So with an already impressive home record the Bannsiders will be hoping they can make the Showgrounds even more of a fortress next season with their new surface.