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Stadium News

Pitch Progress

Summer work going well on WHCS playing surface

27 June 2017

U's Head Groundsman David Blacknall has been working hard on preparing the pitch for the new season.

Each summer, the pitch is stripped back and re-seeded ready for the rigours of the following nine months of the campaign.

And this summer once again, there was the challenge of a concert to contend with.

A schedule of works had been formulated, but that changed when an early pre-season game was arranged.

The U's long serving Head Groundsman wasn't fazed though, and explained what timings had to be altered.

He told "We have been very pleased with the progress we have made with the pitch over the past couple of weeks."

"The original plan was to start the renovations immediately after the Olly Murs concert, as soon as the pitch covering was off and out of the stadium.

"We had to amend things when the pre-season game against West Ham was scheduled in for July 18th though, as we felt that there may not be time for the new surface to bed in sufficiently to take a game on it.

"So we started the renovation at the end of May and had the new grass seed down and growing ahead of the concert.

"We were helped out massively with the pitch covering for the concert going down and coming up so quickly, minimising any damage that might have occurred with no sun or air getting to the pitch."

SInce the concert, the weather has been kind to David and the pitch, especially with an element that is out of human control.

He continued: "The surface is flourishing now, and it is getting plenty of sunshine to help it along, which is great for us.

"We can give it as much water as we want artificially via the sprinkler system but there isn’t much we can do if it’s getting no sun on it." 

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