Nowlan Park again in running for pitch of the year

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Nowlan Park again in running for pitch of the year

Nowlan Park

Kilkenny’s Nowlan Park is included on the shortlist of grounds and stadia for the 2019 GAA pitch award.

The ’Park won the award last year.

The short list is - O'Donnell Park, Letterkenny; Pearse Stadium, Galway; Nowlan Park, Kilkenny; McGovern Park, London; Páirc Tailteann, Navan; Dr Hyde Park, Roscommon.

Stuart Wilson, Croke Park and GAA NGDC pitch manager, will be visiting all six venues in the company of Dr Stephen Barker of the Sports Research Institute (STRI) to assess the playing surfaces, with a winner to be chosen and announced in the coming weeks.

The Nowlan Park pitch was inspected this week.

The awards scheme is part of a wider initiative set up by the National Pitch Work Group to improve the standards of playing surfaces around the country and to share some of the expertise and experience used at Croke Park.

The previous winners of the award were Semple Stadium in Thurles in 2017 and Nowlan Park in Kilkenny in 2018.

GAA President John Horan said the GAA was lucky to have so many iconic venues dotted throughout the country.

“Our great games and our great players deserve a playing surface worthy of the occasion that is championship, and I am delighted that there has been such a strong interest shown by so many of the talented ground staff who have worked tirelessly to have their pitches ready for action,” he added.

“Congratulations to all of those who have been shortlisted and for helping to raise standards.”

For more on Kilkenny People sport read here.