Shrewsbury Town’s ground staff are in for a busy few weeks as they start adjusting to life at Shrewsbury Town’s new training ground.
The Town squad moved up to their new Sundorne Castle base last Friday and will now use that at their permanent training base during the week.
Dave Saltman from Maxwell Amenity Limited admits it will be a challenging settling in period but believes his team of three full-time staff are more than capable of dealing with the change.
“We negotiated a new contract with the club to take on the training ground full-time”, Dave told ShrewsWeb.
“We’ve been maintaining it over the last 12 months since the renovations began last year, but with the squad training there for three to four days every week we need to make sure that we’ve got enough labour to be able to cope with all the work.”
“We’re going to have to change the routine a little bit, so I would imagine that the lads would probably start off at the training ground in the morning, cutting the pitches and getting some water on before the players start training.”
“Once the players start training one may stay there and then the other two will come back and work on the training pitch behind and the stadium and do what’s required and then perhaps all end up back at the training ground in order to do repairs and get it ready for the next day.”
Matters haven’t been made any easier by last week’s heatwave, but Dave is hopeful that this week’s cooler temperatures will help the grass recover.
“We’ve got an irrigation system at the training ground, but the problem is that we are trying to irrigate six and a half acres and the system just can’t cope with that amount of land, so we’ve had to prioritise where the players are going to be training”, said Saltman.
“Obviously, with the mini-heatwave, where we’ve been averaging 26 to 30 degrees every day, the grass has just been burning up and we haven’t been able to get enough water onto those pitches, so hopefully over the next few days with the cooler temperatures and a bit of rain around they will be able to pick the grass back up and get it where it needs to be.”
The training ground is capable of housing two full-size pitches, but Town boss Paul Hurst has decided to go with one full-size pitch at the training ground, along with additional goalkeeping and fitness areas around the perimeter, something Dave is happy to accommodate.
“Usually we’d have at least one pitch that is the size of the stadium pitch, so that the players are used to training on the same size pitch as they would do at home”, Dave said.
“There is certainly sufficient size to put two pitches crossways on that area and then have a smaller area at the bottom end for goalkeeper training, but at the moment the gaffer has decided he wants one main pitch, so we are doing that lengthways and then putting three goalkeeping areas in for Danny and his team.”
“Then there will be a large area to the side where they can do all of their warm-ups and quick feet in the morning before they get onto the main pitch to do what they have to do on there, so in terms of space they have plenty of space.”
“They only really need one pitch. Since I’ve been here they’ve always managed to work on one pitch and as long as they are sensible and move the wear around then it will be fine.”