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PITCH: We knew we would be fine

19 November 2015

Dave Mitchell on the amazing work done on the pitch this week

We spoke to stadium manager Dave Mitchell about the recent flooding on the pitch and the quick turnaround needed to allow Tuesday's FA Youth Cup game to go ahead.

"We had a lot of heavy rain last Wednesday so that started to fill everything up last week," he explained. "The forecasts were for more rain last weekend, and on Sunday it was pretty apparent we were going to have a problem on Monday morning.

"We've been in this situation before. If it was the first time it had happened we possibly would have panicked, but we know the system gets overwhelmed. We knew we would be fine if our friends with the big pumps were available."

"The plan on Monday morning was to get rid of the water as fast as we could," he told us. "We knew as we stood at that time that we had the youth team game on Tuesday night, so the immediate concern was with getting the water off the playing surface as quickly as we could.

"If there hadn't been a game it would have eased the situation a little bit, but we probably would have done the same things. Sometimes it's good to have a catalyst and a target to work towards because you know you have to do it as quickly as you can.

"The pitch seems to bounce back very well if you give it what it needs. We've given it a bit of a treat today so hopefully that will pick it back up again. It was a bit down in the dumps after Monday but I'm sure it will be fine for Saturday."

On the help received from outside agencies, he said: "We have to say thank you to Shaun from SLD Pumps. He was on the phone on Monday morning and the apparatus we needed was off the shelf and down here very quickly.

"We would also like to say thank you to Geoff at WM Plant. He gave us a couple of smaller pumps which helped us along the way. We talk about partners a lot at the club and those two really supplied the goods when the chips were down. Matt [Henry] and Paul [Butler] have been there with me along the way as well so it has been a real team effort."

On concerns of any lasting damage, he said: "I haven't looked properly yet but there's bound to be some silt and things left over. 

"It doesn't do it much good but we'll just have to battle away. There won't be any massive damage and the pitch has dealt with worse things in the past, so all in all we're in a much better place than we were on Monday morning!"

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