BOWERS & Pitsea’s new artificial surface has made the Len Salmon Stadium feel like ‘an entirely new ground’.

That is the view of the club’s facilities manager and volunteer Darren Scorey.

Bowers have spent more than £560,000 on the new pitch following an investment grant by vice-chairman Mike Barnard, with Velocity - who also laid Aveley and AFC Sudbury’s pitches - carrying out the work.

With work on the pitch running into the new season, Bowers have been playing at Aveley’s Parkside and have won all four of their ‘home’ matches so far.

Felixstowe & Walton United are the first visitors to Bowers and Scorey is looking forward to the occasion.

“Seeing the carpet being laid brings it all together,” he said. “The initial project was just the pitch but we have updated a few other things as well.

“But while I have enjoyed it I am glad it is almost done. At the end of the day we are volunteers. I have woken up at 3am in the past worrying about it.

“But we are a week ahead of schedule and if we hadn’t been waylaid with planning permission at the start of the process we would have been ready for the start of the season.

“To me it is a whole new ground. It looks completely different and everyone is excited. There is a real buzz around the place.”

Bowers are currently fifth in the Isthmian North and are one of just three teams who are unbeaten so far.

Although three places below Felixstowe, Bowers have played one game fewer.

And while Scorey believes the pitch will take some getting used to, he is confident the move to an artificial surface was the right one for the club.

“It will take some getting used to,” he said. “The pitch won’t be tested until the last minute and if there was an injury we would not be covered.

“We took a gamble hiring Aveley’s pitch and our run in the FA Cup has helped foot that bill.

“We have played on artificial pitches at Aveley and Sudbury and this move makes sense.

“Bowers has so many youth teams and it cost £15,000 to rent pitches for them last season. There is no sustainability there.”

Former West Ham defender Julian Dicks will be cutting a ribbon for the pitch’s unveiling on Saturday. There will also be a bouncy castle and bubble football.

If you are interested in booking the Bowers & Pitsea pitch, call 07413 909217 or email