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The Citycare Property team in Dunedin are responsible for preparing and managing Sunnyvale Park football pitch in Green Island, ready for intensive use during the “footy” season. The maintenance work is part of Citycare Property’s parks contract with Dunedin City Council and these days it’s not enough to just mow the grass and mark the field in readiness for a big game.
Preparation of the pitch involves reel mowing the pitch twice to 22mm to create a high standard playing surface. Reel mowing also creates the striped pattern that we have become accustomed to seeing at high profile sports events. The pitch is also watered daily in the lead up to big games to make sure grass remains green and lush and doesn’t die off. Sunnyvale Park tends to dry out in the warm Dunedin summers and the regular watering helps retain form. Finally, the team is responsible for linemarking the pitch twice in the lead-up to a big match.
The first 2019 game was played on the pitch on 13 February, when Auckland City took on Southern United. The result was a 1-1 draw with the pitch looking spectacular.
By the end of the 2019 season Sunnyvale Park will have hosted five ISPS Handa Premiership Games (men’s national league) and two National Women’s League games. The park is home to nine playing fields and two training grounds.
The Citycare Property Dunedin team also maintains the Tahuna Park in St Clair, which is the home training ground to Southern United Men’s and youth teams. Earlier in the year, the park was also host to a training clinic run by the All Whites coaches, with anecdotal feedback from coaches that the pitch was looking fantastic.
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