Chester coach Jan Van Deventer has called the club's newly installed 3G pitch a 'phenomenal' asset for the club.

Work at Chester's Hare Lane ground is almost complete with the floodlit artificial playing surface now awaiting certification from the RFU.

Van Deventer welcomed his players back for pre-season training this week after a two-month summer break and has been hugely impressed with the improved facilities.

He said: "The transformation has been phenomenal. The new pitch really is top-spec and will make a massive difference to all of the teams at the club.

"The minis, juniors and the women's sides will all benefit from this development as much as the men's teams and there's a real buzz about the place right now.

"From our point of view it offers reliability and consistency because we know we have a training and playing surface that we can use in all weathers.

"Last winter we were severely disrupted by the bad weather and drainage on the pitch became a big issue. I felt that it halted our momentum at times when we had to train elsewhere when our pitch was in a particularly bad way.

"The new surface won't completely change the way we do things as a club, but it certainly gives a solid foundation for us to work from.

"In the long-term too, I'm sure it will only serve to make us a more attractive prospect for any players looking to join a club."

The extensive overhaul of the facilities, which has also seen improvements to the changing rooms, mirrors changes made at Chester's Division Two North rivals Stourbridge and Preston Grasshoppers.

Some professional clubs have voiced concern about the prevalence of burns and cuts sustained by players on 3G pitches, as well as incidences of ligament and Achilles injuries.

And while Van Deventer acknowledges the issue, he believes the benefits of the synthetic pitch far outweigh the drawbacks.

"There's a negative element to a lot of stories in the press" he added.

"But for every negative report out there, I'll bet there are two or the success stories at other clubs that you don't hear about.

"Injuries are part and parcel of the game at times, but hopefully we won't see any kind of increase.

"This, from our point of view, is a hugely positive step for the club and it's something which can help us go from strength to strength."