Town sow the seeds for a promotion challenge in 2017/18

Highbury pitch gets relayed. Photo credit: Stefan Willoughby
Highbury pitch gets relayed. Photo credit: Stefan Willoughby

Fleetwood’s new head groundsman was straight into action as Town bid to sow the seeds for a promotion challenge in 2017/18.

Nick Hyndman took over the reins from long-serving groundsman Dale Firth yesterday, a day after the tractors ploughed their way across Highbury to start resurfacing work.

Highbury pitch gets relayed. Photo credit: Stefan Willoughby

Highbury pitch gets relayed. Photo credit: Stefan Willoughby

With the football season now officially put to bed Town’s turf has now been dug up.

It will be ready for action once again before pre-season commences with an opening game against Queen of the South at Town’s plush £9.5m Poolfoot Farm training base on Friday, July 7.

Now that the seeds are being sown for another promotion push after Town lost 1-0 to Bradford City in this season’s League One play-off semi-final it will be Hyndman who will ensure Town’s turf is in tip top condition next term.

Frith, who also had a spell at Town’s newly-relegated Lancashire rivals Blackburn Rovers, will now join PSD Agronomy as a Senior Consultant.

Work continues on relaying the playing surface. Photo credit: Stefan Willoughby

Work continues on relaying the playing surface. Photo credit: Stefan Willoughby

His protege, Hyndman, has been with the club for more than six years now.

During that time, he has progressed from part-time groundsman through to his new role under the tutorship of Frith.

Frith and his team’s work saw the club’s pitch rated in the top three of League One in 2015.

Hyndman says he is keen to keep up those standards as the groundstaff start their lengthy summer slog of ensuring the pitch is in the best condition for the new season, which begins on Saturday, August 5.

The pitches at Poolfoot are also undergoing some much needed TLC during the close season as Frith passes on the baton to Hyndman.

And Hyndman is aiming to deliver a ‘pitch to be proud of’ with the club using a process called Koroing, which strips the old surface off, getting rid of all unwanted species of grass that have grown.

He said: “Basically, we do a process called Koroing where we strip the vegetation off the pitch.

“We have a machine that goes over the pitch and it will strip the top 15 millimetres of the old vegetation.

“We are just cleaning any of the rubbish out really, the old matter and unwanted species on the surface.

“You get a build-up of organic matter, you get some of the unwanted grass species in and that’s part of the reason it looks so good because we do this sort of process every year to keep it looking fresh.”

Hyndman added that they are hoping for mixed weather throughout the next week so they will start seeing green grass grow at Highbury again within a week.

He said: “We are hoping for lots of sun and hot temperatures mainly but need some rain as well.”

“I think we’re looking six days after seeding really. We’ll set a green haze on then we can crack on with our fertilizer program to get it nice and strong for the first game.”