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06.06.2007 General News

Work On CAN 2008 Training Pitches Underway

Work has begun on the development of football pitches at Achimota School and Presbyterian Boys Secondary School (PRESEC) at Legon as training grounds for the 2008 MTN Africa Cup of Nations.

These bring to four, the training grounds earmarked for teams based in Accra.

The El-Wak Stadium at Cantonments is at an advanced stage of its development, with the pitch looking lush green and ready for use in a few months' time.

Chelsea used the pitch last week during the coaching clinic for children with its global charity partner, Right To Play, but Mr Frank Boahene, the grounds consultant for the Nations Cup venues and training pitches, told the Daily Graphic that the grass at El-Wak will reach full maturity in three months' time.

Ongoing work at the Achimota School and PRESEC will be completed at a much later date.

Green Grass Technology (GGT), a company owned by Mr Boahene, a specialist groundsman who, for 10 years was in charge of the pitch at Craven Cottage, the home of English Premiership side Fulham, has been contracted to develop the training pitches and the match venues in Accra, Kumasi, Essipong and Tamale.

He told the Daily Graphic that when fully matured, the grass planted at the match venues would be of the highest standard available for the country's prevailing climate.

When ready for use, the pitches would be of the highest standard comparable to those available in the Premiership.

“I've brought my 10 years experience to bear on the development of these pitches and GGT is not compromising on standards,” Mr Boahene said.

He explained that the El-Wak Stadium pitch, for example, has three species of grass planted to withstand the dry and wet seasons, and are resistant to diseases.

Just as for the four main stadia, the El-Wak pitch has a good drainage system fitted with 24 underground sprinklers which are controlled electronically. A borehole has been dug and connected to three water reservoirs to ensure continuous water supply of about 40,000 litres needed to water the grass daily.

The Achimota School and PRESEC were chosen at the eleventh hour after the Azumah Nelson Sports Complex and University of Ghana pitches, originally selected as training pitches, were rejected after technical evaluation by GGT.

Story by Maurice Quansah