Pompey close in on Tifosy pitch unveiling

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin. Picture: Joe Pepler
Dion Donohue has signed a two-year deal at Pompey Picture: Colin Farmery

Pompey new boy’s out to continue rise

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Pompey Academy will next month step out on to their fan-funded pitches for the first time.

Supporters raised £270,000 through the Tifosy crowd-funding scheme in August 2014.

With other pitches at the training ground holding up so well, there is little point giving them a hammering when there isn’t any need to at present

Mark Catlin

The aim was to bankroll the construction of two pitches for use by the Blues’ youth set-up at their Copnor Road training ground.

Following initial wrangling over planning permission, the newly-laid surfaces are now almost complete.

And chief executive Mark Catlin believes the Academy could be using them in December.

He said: ‘You could technically use them now but we are trying to preserve them as much as possible.

‘In the meantime, the under-18s are currently training on existing pitches at Roko, which are holding up well because we have not had any real weather.

‘The fencing is complete, the pitches have been seeded, the drainage has been done, so it’s just a case of letting the grass bed in and giving it as much time as possible before we start using the pitches.

‘With other pitches at the training ground holding up so well, there is little point giving them a hammering when there isn’t any need to at present.

‘I don’t want to put a time frame on it but they are not that far away from being used. You are looking at December.

‘Our groundsmen are doing some fantastic work, which by the way has gone under the radar, and the first-team training pitches are excellent.

‘With the Tifosy ones, there’s a case of trying to keep off them as much as we can for the first season to give them more time to bed in.

‘In the longer term we will get a better quality of pitch.

‘By next month they should be fine.’