Pitch perfection Dale’s mission

editorial image

With the football season now well and truly finished you’d expect everyone at Fleetwood Town, barring maybe the manager to be taking a well 
deserved rest.

But that’s not the case for groundsman Dale Frith who has the task of having the Highbury surface back in perfect shape for the kick-off of the new season.

“It’s the busiest time of year for a groundsman.” joked Frith.

“People will say it’s the summer, enjoy your summer off.

“They players get a few weeks off but that’s not the case for us.”

Town’s surface took a battering during the club’s first Football League campaign – the weather not helping matters with an unexpected snowfall taking its toll on the pitch.

The Fleetwood groundstaff now have just a few weeks to get everything ready for pre-season when manager Graham Alexander will be expecting the surface to be in perfect condition for his new look squad.

Frith said:“We’ll do everything we can do get it ready for the first game.

“I think that’s in about eight weeks for Nathan Pond’s testimonial.

It’s not a lot of time, but we’ll get there.”

Highbury was a hive of activity last week as Frith and his team got to work with the process of replacing the pitch, which has seen extensive use since the end of the season with the club playing host to a number of cup finals and other competitions.

And Town have come up with a money saving solution to get the work done this summer

“On a normal year you’d just get a contractor in and they would do all the work over a few days,” explained Frith.

“This year a company called Campey Turfcare have come in to do a demonstration day.

“They’ve done the work for us and at the same time shown off to their potential customers all the latest equipment.

“These lads normally do demo work all around the country and around the world.”

And efforts are already well under way.

“We started the work last week killing off the existing vegetation to make sure we’ve got rid of any weed grass.

“We’ve skimmed the top off, dressed it with around 150 tonnes of sand and then we’ve put in extra drainage.

“We’ll tickle it up, mix the sand in with the existing surface and make sure everything is levelled off.

“Then we’ll get everything seeded and prepare for the season.”