Dave Saltman gives his monthly update on the state of the pitchThe Greenhous Meadow surface continued to survive everything that nature threw at it during February.
Storm Doris brought over two inches of rain onto the pitch, whilst further storms have made life difficult for groundsmen across the country.
However, Dave Saltman of Maxwell Amenity Ltd is pleased with how the pitch is holding up despite the conditions.
“Generally the pitch is good”, Dave told ShrewsWeb.
“95% of the pitch has held up very well. We’ve now got some wear areas through the middle of park which are holding a little bit of water and cutting up, but when you look at a lot of pitches around in League One and League Two we are faring pretty well considering.
“We’ve had a prodigious amount of rain. We had Storm Doris and then Ewan and every day we’ve had a lot of rain. Yesterday we’d had about 9mm of rain, but fortunately it stopped before kick-off.
“We’ve got some wet areas, primarily where training has taken place, which is a shame. The lads were using it on Monday morning and after that we repaired the pitch and verti-drained it knowing the forecast that was coming in.
“We’ve done everything we can. We are verti-draining it again today and looking at the forecasts I’m worried that we will be able to find anywhere for the team to train tomorrow and Friday, except on the pitch. So, we’re just going to have to do our best to accommodate them.”
Dave’s thoughts are already on next season and he is hoping that the pitch will be back to its best for the 2017/18 campaign.
“We won pitch of the year last year which was great, but I’m not bothered about winning awards again”, said Saltman.
“We proved what we needed to do and we’re proving what we do now just by keeping these games on. We did a basic renovation last season. This season we are planning to turn the pitch over again and re-seed it from scratch.
“I’m hopeful that by next season the pitch will be back to its best, the training ground will be complete, so they will have a permanent base there, and we should have a very good surface throughout next year.”
One big undertaking over the summer will be dealing with the pitch when Rod Stewart heads to the Greenhous Meadow in June. Dave has good knowledge of dealing with concerts and plans are already in place for the summer.
“The season finishes here quite early, but then we’ve got two or three weeks of corporate games, football in the community, Shropshire FA, so we actually get the pitch handed over to us on around the 9th of May”, said Dave.
“The concert is coming in June, so effectively we’ve got a month where we want to turn the pitch over and re-seed it. We will strip the vegetation off that is there now, cultivate it, add a bit more material in, grade it and seed it.
“That will probably give us around three and a half weeks before the production team comes into start staging and flooring the pitch, which hopefully will be enough time to get the grass up.
“And then, under the modern day protection they use for flooring it should continue to grow under there nicely for the seven days that it is going to be down.”