Summer Pitch Renovation Going To Plan

Head Groundsman Mark Sleightholme has declared himself happy with the progress being made as hard work continues to ensure the playing surface is back in perfect condition for 2023/24.

Sleightholme returned to the Club from South Shields last month and has been overseeing a huge effort to bolster the drainage beneath the pitch and return it to its very best for the new campaign.

Following the conclusion of activities on the pitch at the end of last term, 116 tonnes of sand was deposited on to the playing area to help level the ground and replace the nutrients in the soil.

Once that had bedded in, an Earthquake machine was used to enhance the aeration in the soil and improve drainage, slicing eight inches down into the ground in two different directions in a process which will be repeated as the winter months arrive.

The next stage of the operation was to disc seed the area in three directions, after which fertiliser and chemicals were added to aid the growth and help the seed to prosper.

“It’s been down for about two weeks now and the progress that we’ve seen has been excellent,” Sleightholme explained.

“One of the main priorities for us to focus on this summer was the drainage and I know the work done with the Earthquake machine should give the pitch some extra resilience on that front.

“The new grass has been coming through and I have cut it a couple of times already so now it’s just a matter of keeping it well watered and maintained in the coming weeks.

“The stage we’ve reached already having only seeded on 18th May is very encouraging, so I am thankful to Rhys (Assistant Groundsman) for his hard work and that of our contractor, Andy Purvis.

“I am also very grateful to the Chairman for the continued investment in the playing surface which helps us do the work to ensure we have another pitch to be proud of in the new season.”

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