Chelsea FC thanked for pitch perfect gift

Chelsea FC were praised this week after gifting part of their Stamford Bridge pitch to Aldershot Town of the Skrill Premier.

The Shots, who host a number of The Blue`s under 18 and under 21 fixtures, have received Chelsea`s undersoil to help improve their playing surface for next season.

Groundsman and ex-Aldershot player, Andy Nunn, feels the addition of the foundations will benefit the club in the long run at the ESS Stadium and attract much needed transfer targets to the club.

“I’ve seen it throughout my playing career; a nice ground can persuade a player to go there,” he said.

“It will be a better surface to play on, and is a big step forward for the Club.”

Even though there are over 100 league places between them, Chelsea have helped Aldershot on many occasions including when the club went into administration last summer.

Chairman Shahid Azeem, a friend of Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck, appreciates the relationship the clubs have and hopes it continues.

“We look forward to hosting Chelsea’s stars of the future on it at Aldershot next season,” he said.

“Once again the directors of Chelsea have shown incredible generosity.”

New drainage and irrigation systems are also being added, before 1800 tonnes of fibre sand is to be spread and grass being sown next week.

Fibre sand pitches may be new territory for Nunn but he said Jason Griffin and Kevin Fowler of Chelsea’s Ground staff are always willing to help out with any problems. 

Aldershot`s pitch has been renowned for its quality at lower league levels since 1926, but with waterlogging problems Nunn realises it`s time to move on.

“It’s got a lot of history, it’s had a lot of success and it’s been a pleasure to work with,” he said.

“This is an old pitch and it’s starting to show signs of wear, so it’s come at the right time.”

Nunn also thanked Chelsea, who supposedly paid for the transportation of the soil, and their support for the club:

“We have got to thank Chelsea for being here and helping us out with everything they do – Kevin and Jason have been fantastic to me all season,” he said.

“Chelsea have been absolutely fantastic to us.”

With the gift from the Londoners, the Shots have put sections of their current turf up for sale to raise money for various charities since May 6and the club reports sales have been going very well.

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