Oldham Athletic F.C. Thrives with Hybrid Pitch and Advanced Irrigation Upgrade

During the Summer of 2023, Boundary Park, the esteemed home of Oldham Athletic F.C., underwent a remarkable transformation with the implementation of cutting-edge sports turf technology. The renovation included the installation of a state-of-the-art stitched hybrid pitch constructed by Chappelow Sports Turf, alongside a sophisticated Hunter Industries irrigation system supplied by KAR UK and installed by R&L Sports Turf Irrigation.

The hybrid pitch engineered by Chappelow Sports Turf represents the pinnacle of turf innovation, integrating advanced drainage solutions to ensure year-round playability regardless of weather conditions. Crafted primarily from sand, thorough irrigation is essential to bind the sand particles together, guaranteeing a durable playing surface.


The irrigation system comprises a network of sixteen Hunter GT885 rotors strategically positioned along the pitch’s perimeter. These rotors, equipped with no-bounce cover kits, are easily serviceable by simply removing the subsurface lid, eliminating the need for disruptive digging. Complementing this setup are eight Hunter I-80 sprinklers installed infield, featuring turf cups for a seamless aesthetic.

Dean Pickering, Oldham A.F.C.’s Head Groundsman, praised the system’s efficiency, highlighting the capability to activate up to six sprinklers simultaneously during halftime, completing a full pitch watering cycle in just 15 minutes. This rapid turnaround significantly enhances playability, ensuring optimal conditions for the players.


The heart of the system lies in Hunter’s ACC2 controller, offering intuitive management of irrigation schedules. Dean and the grounds team benefit from Hunter’s Centralus system, which enables remote monitoring and control from any smartphone, computer, or tablet, revolutionising operational efficiency. With the ability to remotely activate the irrigation system from any location, the convenience is unparalleled, eliminating the need for manual intervention. “Previously we had to come in and manually press a button on the controller to turn the sprinklers on. Now the convenience of being able to look at the cameras at home and turn the sprinklers on, no matter how far away from the pitch you are, is unbelievable”, explained Dean.

Dean also acclaims the reliability of the ROAM remote. Given the challenges of maintaining signal integrity amidst a bustling stadium environment, the ROAM remote provides a failsafe option for on-site control, ensuring seamless operation during critical match days. “With 6-7,000 people in the stadium on match days, the signal always drops, so the ROAM remote is the perfect backup for Centralus”, Dean commented.

Furthermore, the system incorporates a Lowara GHV20 Pump Set ensuring consistent water supply, while an 18-foot Evenproducts tank installed on-site optimises water storage capacity, enhancing the system’s overall efficiency and performance. Both were supplied by KAR UK.


“We are really proud that we were able to install a new high-end Hunter system and to be able to work on a project for a club that has so much history in English football.” Richard Royce, Director of R&L Sports Turf Irrigation commented.

In essence, the revitalisation of Boundary Park showcases a harmonious fusion of state-of-the-art turf technology and innovative irrigation solutions, setting a new standard in sports field management and ensuring an unparalleled experience for players and spectators alike.



For more information on irrigation products for Golf & Sportsturf, Horticulture, Agriculture and Landscape & Rescom, contact KAR UK Ltd on 0161 793 9703 or sales@karuk.com, or visit www.karuk.com.

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