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Club News

'Twas the night before Shrews...

18 January 2013

AFTER an eventful day that culminated in manager Paolo Di Canio pitching in to help shovel snow off the playing surface, here is how the night unfolded. 

11.21pm

The County Ground is slowly emptying after a mammoth effort to clear the pitch of snow.

A pitch inspection will be held tomorrow morning at 8am to determine whether or not Town’s match against Shrewsbury Town will go ahead. 

After nearly seven hours of work by manager Paolo Di Canio, his backroom staff, club staff and some 200 willing volunteers, the playing surface is now clear of snow. 

The club would like to thank all those supporters who braved the sub-zero temperatures to help clear the playing surface ahead of tomorrow morning’s inspection. 

Any breaking news of the outcome will appear here on the official website and on the club’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts. 

Stadium & Operations manager Mark Isaacs commented: “Firstly on behalf of everyone at Swindon Town FC we would like to thank everyone who gave up considerable time and effort on Friday to clear the playing surface.

“The pitch underneath the covers is in good condition and the referee will inspect the pitch at 8am. The club still require volunteers in the morning, at 8am, to assist with the removal of the covers. If you are able to assist with this, please enter the stadium via E1 gate between the Town End and Arkell’s.”


Below is a timeline of events from this evening.


10.00pm

Slowly but surely progress is being made at The County Ground. Thank you to all supporters who have come down to help. To those supporters who still wish to come and help, wheelbarrows and toboggans are still needed to help shift the snow off the playing surface!

7.55pm

The hard work continues at The County Ground to remove the snow that has settled on the playing surface.

Manager Paolo Di Canio along with his backroom staff and club staff have joined a growing number of volunteers in helping to clear the pitch. 

Volunteers are still required as the club are working to prepare the surface for an inspection at 8am tomorrow morning. 


5.51pm

There will be a pitch inspection tomorrow morning at 8am to determine whether or not the match against Shrewsbury will go ahead and the management staff along with club staff are already out on the pitch clearing snow under the floodlights.

Groundsman Marcus Cassidy told BBC Wiltshire that the snowfall over the course of the afternoon had severely hampered progress. He said: "We had a period where it didn't settle for two hours. We got people in then suddenly we got a blizzard and that put us back to square one. The manager's desperate to get this on. We'll work through the night." 

Manager Paolo Di Canio, who is helping with the clearing effort, echoed the ambitions of the groundsman. "We need help from everybody," he said. "We are here to help. The pitch is in a perfect condition the problem is the snow. If we can clean most of it for tomorrow morning everything will be ok so I don't see why we can't get the game on. It's vital for us to avoid fixture congestion. This is a very important opportunity."

Fit and able volunteers are asked to report to E1 gate between the Town End and Arkell’s Stand. 

Please bring a good sized shovel, snow clearing brushes and wheelbarrows where possible.

Thank you for your assistance!

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