Rabu, 11 Januari 2012

England's training ground to be 'best pitch in Poland'

Deputy Mayor of Krakow, Magdalena Sroka, has told that representatives of the English Football Association are due in Krakow this week to confirm that the work is finished, following reports earlier late last year in the British media that the fourth division ground is “a dump”.

Sroka said that English football authorities have been coming every week to the humble, 6,000 capacity Suche Stawy stadium, home to the Hutnik Nowa Huta club, to check that “everything is correct with the pitch and the grass”.

“They are promising that we will have the best pitch in Poland – and it looks like this is possible,” she said.

“We are finishing – the pitch is already renovated and the grass is growing and it looks very nice – very green,” she assured.

The English squad, currently without a manager after the resignation of Fabio Capello in February, will arrive in Krakow in May, where they will be staying at the 5-star Hotel Stary, just off the Main Market Square.

Krakow's two main stadiums, belonging to first division Ekstraklasa league sides Wisla and Cracovia, were snapped up by Holland and Italy, who will be using the city as a base camp alongside England.

The news that England would be using the Suche Stawy Stadium was greeted with alarm by some sections of the press in the UK, in spite of assurances that the grounds would be renovated in a joint venture by the English Football Association and the city of Krakow.

The UK's biggest selling newspaper, The Sun, published an article in December describing the stadium as “a shambolic dump.”

The Guardian suggested that the stadium was more akin to the schoolboy set-up of “jumpers for goalposts.”

Krakow's local government and English FA are confident that doom-mongers will be proved wrong when the stadium goes in action next month.

“It's very close now - we're waiting impatiently,” Sroka concluded, predicting that visitors will have “great fun” in the city.

UEFA, the European governing body, is currently training Polish and Ukrainian groundsmen at the Stadion Miejski, home to first division Wisla Krakow, on the upkeep of the grass used in the pitches hosting the championships, which begin on 8 June.

“Participants have been getting to grips with things like UEFA's rules on how to take care of grass to give it the right height," Wisla Krakow spokesman Adrian Ochalik told the Polish PAP news agency.

Though England will be staying in Krakow, they will be playing their group matches at the Donbass Stadium in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, 1,500 kms away from their base in Poland. (source)

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