Plenty of work going on at training ground
The summer renovation work on the pitches at PPG Canalside is well underway ahead of the 2014/14 Championship campaign.
With the players and management enjoying their summer breaks, maintenance and renovation work is being undertaken at the Club’s training ground.
The main aim of the work is to improve the drainage on the front plateau of pitches and htafc.com caught up with Groundsman Mark Storer (right) who is pictured above with Head Groundsman Rob Ellis.
Mark explained to the official website the two methods that are being carried out to improve drainage.
“The Top Drainer is the main piece of kit that is being used. It has taken out a two inch slit which has been backfilled with sand. The sand has gone right down to the gravel bed, which we hope will improve the drainage. We had a situation this winter with the players struggling to get on the pitches; hopefully with the work that we are undertaking that shouldn’t prove to be a problem again.”
“Unlike the Top Drainer which digs a channel, the Sandmaster puts a slice in the ground which is also backfilled with sand. Again, the process is to help improve drainage, but it isn’t as extreme as top draining. We have only used the Top Drainer in the badly affected areas and used the Sandmaster elsewhere as the ground recovers a lot quicker.
“When the first team returns for pre-season training we hope to have excellent grass coverage over the surface where the top draining has been completed.”
As well as the front plateau, work has also taken place over the Canal on the pitches that are used primarily by the Academy, as Mark explained:
“We have done some standard renovation work on the three pitches at the top. We have scarified, verti drained and sanded and seeded. We completed that work a few weeks ago and expect the seed to start coming through any time now.
“Because we have been working on the canal pitches for the last couple of years they are draining a lot better. As a result, it hasn’t required as much work.”