THE MATCHROOM STADIUM pitch has undergone some maintenance work this week ahead of the forthcoming 2014-15 season.
The top layer of the pitch was removed before new grass seed was laid and a fresh layer of 60 tonnes of sand to level the playing surface and assist with drainage.
The top soil that has been removed will not be thrown away but instead donated to a local playing facility.
“We’ve had about 4 or 5 millimetres removed from the top,” explains head groundsman Colin James. “That gets rid of the vegetation and some of the bad grass that has developed over a season. It leaves a lot of the roots from the good grass in the ground.
“The bad grass is shallow rooted and spreads throughout a year and means the pitch will cut up easier. This work is essential to get rid of that and gives a firmer surface which is essential, particularly in the winter months. We are looking for the grass to start coming through within four to five days with the first cut hopefully in about two weeks.
“Last year we had the extensive work done with a complete turnover of the pitch and new drainage put in, we saw the return on that investment last season as I thought the pitch was the best it has been since I’ve been at the football club. We didn’t come close to having a game called off and a lot of games around us did.
“This year the work is routine maintenance as the extensive work doesn’t need to be done every year. It gives us a clean canvas and hopefully we can make it even better next season – you can always improve a football pitch but we are going heavily in the right way,” said James.