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Club News

August Pitch Update

Dave Saltman looks at the pitch ahead of the season opener

3 August 2017

Shrewsbury Town’s Montgomery Waters Meadow surface is ready for the 2017/18 season to begin.

It has been a busy summer for Town’s ground staff with the Rod Stewart concert taking place just a month before Town’s the first of Town’s four home pre-season friendlies got under way.

Dave Saltman, Managing Director of Maxwell Amenity Limited, admitted that it has been a challenging summer, but believes the pitch is in good condition as the season gets underway.

“It’s coming on very well”, Saltman told ShrewsWeb.

“The pitch is still maturing, particularly at the North End where the stage was, but it is thickening up nicely and we’ve worked hard to get it where it is.

“With the concert and then four pre-season games in the space of a couple of weeks it has been a testing schedule on very young grass, but it’s done very well.”

Town boss Paul Hurst commented on the length of the playing surface after Town’s final pre-season game against Burton Albion and the grass length will now be shorted by 2mm for the season opener.

“We are cutting it shorter now”, Dave explained.

“We maintained it at 25mm, which is an inch, for pre-season, but the management would like it a little bit shorter this season, so we have now got it down to 23mm.

“It doesn’t sound a lot, but in terms of the speed of the ball and the speed of the game it will improve it and make it faster.

“At this time of year, with the thickness of the grass, the ball can stick a little bit. We try and put water on to help that, but if you get a warm day the water soon evaporates within a few minutes.”

Meanwhile, Dave confirmed that the pitch has returned to its original size after being made shorter and narrower for the 2016/17 campaign.

“We have gone back to what we were before, which is 115 yards by 75 yards”, Saltman said.

“I know it’s where it was because I put the goals in and we have put the new goals into the old goal position.

“It’s in the Football League handbook as 115 by 75 and if anyone wants to come down with a tape measure and prove that it isn’t then we will buy them breakfast and if it is then they can buy us breakfast.

“I actually prefer a bigger pitch because the wear is spread out a bit more. On a smaller pitch the wear seems to be more concentrated, so a bigger pitch suits us.”


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