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Club News

Groundsman Gives Pitch Update

30 May 2013

PNE groundsman’s assistant Dean Ash is confident the Deepdale pitch will be ready within seven weeks, having torn up the playing surface just nine days ago.

It’s a busy summer of maintenance at the Club’s stadium as the turf and public address system both receive a makeover in time for the 2013/14 season.

And Ash is convinced the playing surface will be ready in just a few weeks’ time, despite only starting work less than ten days ago.

“Usually from when renovation starts we aim for a minimum of eight weeks until it’s played on,” he said.

“The longer the better, obviously then you get more time to establish it but I’d say the absolute minimum would be seven to eight weeks.”

Although that’s not to say the life of a groundsman isn’t a taxing one at this time of year, as the pressure mounts to deliver a perfect carpet for the players to ply their trade.

“This bit right now is stressful, while we are waiting for the grass to start showing through, wondering whether it’ll happen or not,” Ash added.

In the meantime, the groundsmen will be sticking to their routine, keeping a close eye on the turf on a daily basis to ensure everything goes according to plan.

“It’s quite a standard process - cutting, fertilising and keeping on top of things really,” Ash said. “It’s the daily maintenance thing more than anything.

“Like with anything, if you leave it a few days it gets out of hand and then you’re struggling to get back on top of it. So it’s just the consistency really that’s the key.”

While it might be extremely hard work to get the playing surface just right, the effort put in to each blade of grass is well worth it when an important game comes along.

And Ash was quick to recall his favourite memories of watching the players on the surface he helps produce year-in, year-out.

“Play-Off appearances really, like in 2005, big games and big crowds are the best,” he concluded.

“Playing FA Cup third rounds against Liverpool and Chelsea, England U21 games that we’ve had here – these are the big games that you get the best presentation for.”

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