Sand starts to go down at Sundorne CastleWith the new season up and running attention for Shrewsbury Town’s ground staff turns to the training ground.
The aim is to provide a fit for purpose training ground which the team can use throughout the year.
After a wet summer, the ground staff have been hard at work over the last two weeks as temperatures took a turn for the better.
With seeding set to start this weekend, Dave Saltman, Managing Director of Maxwell Amenity Ltd, is pleased with how things are progressing.
“From Monday this week we’ve had lorries coming in every day,” Dave told ShrewsWeb.
“Anything from 18 articulated lorries a day, delivering sand and we’ve now had the final lorry bringing us just short of 1,200 tonnes of medium coarse sand.
“On Monday we started spreading it. We put down 240 tonnes of sand while we had machinery available. We’re hoping to get the rest of the sand down by this morning (Friday).
“Then we will have other lads coming in. We are going to cultivate and mix all of the root zone we put down last week and the sand, into the top three or four inches of the silty clay soil.
“Hopefully what we’re going to do is produce a surface of around six inches of decent free draining material. So, by the end of this weekend if the weather continues to stay nice, and it’s supposed to be getting warmer and dryer, we will have it cultivated, graded, consolidated and seeded.
“After that we’re in the lap of the gods really,” Dave continued.
“We have irrigation and it’s all primed and working now, but if turns hot like the forecast is suggesting, we’re going to struggle to get sufficient water on there once the grass seed germinates.
“So, at the moment we are debating whether we start watering and get the grass seed germinated or whether we wait until the weather breaks and then start watering to get the seedlings up in maybe a week’s time when the weather gets a bit cooler again.
“Rabbit fencing has gone up this week as well, all the way around the perimeter on three sides. The rabbits have done significant damage on the old field, there’s a large rabbit population there, so hopefully this fence will now prevent them from coming onto the playing surfaces and digging holes up everywhere.
“But, we are pleased with the progress this week and things are looking good,” added Dave.
It is hoped that it will take around eight weeks for the grass to grow sufficiently, once the seed has germinated.