The Club will proudly boast a state-of-the-art hybrid pitch in time for the 2018/19 National League season after a major refurbishment of the Crabble turf, a close season gift from Chairman Jim Parmenter and his wife Sally.

The new surface blends grass with plastic fibres, technology used at Premier League grounds.

This type of surface is more durable, less prone to flooding or freezing and due to the unique specification allows for more efficient grass growth as well as increasing playing comfort.

Kestrel Contractors, a leading UK-based pitch manufacturer, began work on the surface last month with the new pitch scheduled for completion in the coming weeks.

The Chairman said the new pitch could make all the difference in Whites’ promotion bid next season.

He said: “Admittedly players win you games but a consistent surface might give the squad a bit of an edge in home matches.

“It’s been harder to maintain the surface each year, but the relay will provide better drainage and irrigation, plus will be even more levelled out than it currently is.

“The new turf should be laid by the end of the week and it will take a couple months for the seeds to germinate and the grass to grow in time for pre-season.

“It means the first friendlies will be away from home, but supporters will get the chance to see the new surface in action before our league campaign starts.

“It will be a very tough, interesting and entertaining league next season and we will face some very difficult opponents.

“However, we will do our best to challenge at the top end of the table with one of the best pitches in the division.”