All you need to know about PNU2

What is PNU2?

PNU2, or Pairc Naomh Uinsionn 2 is our new All-Weather pitch at St Vincents. It was completed in January 2019.

All-Weather? Is it synthetic?

Yes. It is a synthetic surface known as “3G” or Third Generation. 3G differs from standard “Astro” pitches in that it offers a surface that closer mimics a standard grass pitch.

Description of 3G surface

Like a grass surface, it needs care and attention. If we all follow some simple guidelines we will ensure a long life for the surface, and enjoy many years of training and playing on it.

What sort of guidelines?

The main rule to remember is that only football boots should be worn on the surface. No other footwear should be worn when accessing the pitch.

Only football boots?

Yes. Only football boots. That means no shoes, no runners, no astro runners, and also even some football boots are prohibited.

OK. What type of boots are allowed and what are prohibited?

Boots with plastic screw in studs or moulded plastic studs are the correct footwear, other boots can cause problems. Specifically:

  • Metal studded boots are designed to give extra grip on hard surfaces. 3G pitches don’t harden, and metal studs can tear or damage the surface.
  • Bladed boots are not recommended. Whilst they are unlikely to damage the surface, there is some studies that suggest the grip profile with bladed boots differs on 3G, and can lead to slightly elevated risk of injury.

What about Astros? Surely they’re designed for this?

Afraid not: Astros are designed for astro turf pitches not 3G pitches. The dimples on Astros are too shallow, and can lead to flattening of the surface. Therefore, Astros are not permitted.

I’m a parent, does this mean I need to go buy boots?

Not at all. Access to the pitch surface will be limited to players, mentors and match officials, so in theory you should have no need to step on to the playing surface. PNU2 now has a viewing area for supporters which is off the playing surface, outside of the perimeter fencing.

If my child arrives without their boots, will they be still allowed to train?

We ask for co-operation from all parents to avoid this problem. Obviously our goal is to ensure that training for juveniles is both safe and fun, and we don’t like having children sit out training sessions. But please bear in mind that this is a not just about pitch maintenance but also about safety. Runners do not grip well on a 3G surface, so we’ll be treating incorrect footwear similar to a child missing a gum shield or a hurling helmet.

What about visiting teams? How will they know the rules?

Here’s a flyer you can send on to an opposing or visiting team – Simply clicking on it will download it. We can respectfully ask for their co-operation; it would be normal for visiting teams to wear boots.