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“Professional” Approach To Pitch Maintenance Pays Off.
A sign of the times when you hear about clubs setting up grounds committees and setting aside pitch maintenance budgets but over the past few weeks I have seen plenty of evidence to suggest that such things are increasingly going to become the norm. What was once the domain of places like Golf Clubs or National Trust stately homes has now found itself high on the agenda of most club meetings across the country.
Many very important games are played at this time of the year but in quite a few cases that I have seen over the past few weeks the pitches they are being played on are not well enough maintained to ensure player safety or allow for decent football. On more than one occasion recently I have heard managers tell their players not to bounce the ball because the grass was too long or there was no life in the pitch. In the modern game where the season runs all year we can no longer afford to take chances with the way our pitches are maintained and the professional groundsmen approach is the only way we can ensure that our pitches are properly looked after. We often hear it said that there can be no games without referees or players but the same is true about pitches and if you ask any manager or coach of a school or college team as they try to find a suitable venue for a game in late November, their list of preferred venues would be dominated by pitches that are properly and professionally looked after.
I was at Castlederg on Sunday to cover the Strabane versus Drumquin game and the playing surface on view was nothing less than immaculate. The grass was manicured to perfection and as a result the quality of play on offer was not affected adversely by the pitch. When teams prepare all year for important games like Sunday’s they deserve to play on a surface that offers them the best chance to display their talents. Well maintained and professionally prepared pitches like Castlederg’s are the way forward and although economic times are difficult, investing in these will pay off in the long run.