Swindon Town’s Head Groundsman Marcus Cassidy is a busy man at the moment with work well underway on the new County Ground pitch.
With the schedule now clear following a host of Play on the Pitch events and community Cup Finals, the current pitch was ripped up earlier this week with a team of outside contractors having embarked on SN1 in order to carry out the mammoth task.
Plenty of progress has been made already and Cassidy, speaking to iFollow Town exclusively, is confident of producing another stellar playing surface for The Reds.
“After a long hard season, even though it was looking good, the pitch does take a lot of wear and tear, so it is an annual thing,” he said.
“The process started on Monday by stripping the pitch off and we took about 15mm off just to get the levels back and it also removes a lot of unwanted grass because, over the course of the season, we get a build-up of what we call meadow grass.
“That was the first job, it took about twelve hours to complete and on Tuesday we put sand slits into the pitch.
“It needs drainage so that when it rains it is getting the rain water through to the drains a lot quicker.
“Hopefully, weather permitting, we’ve got 120 tonnes of root zone coming in on Wednesday, which is top dressing and that is a lot more than what we would normally put on, so we are actually spending more this year than what we have in previous seasons.
“That gets the levels good again, it gives us a good root zone and it also helps the drainage.
“It will then be levelled, we will mix some fertiliser in with this top dressing to aid the root development and it will then be levelled and hopefully seeded with a special mix seed on Thursday.
“We’re hoping to have the pitch ready for when the players get back in pre-season. The shortest time we’ve done it in is six weeks, but last year it took us eight weeks due to various problems.
“So, all being well, we can get it ready again in six weeks but dependant on friendlies.
“We have had a good pitch in recent seasons and the club support me, but I am under no illusion that the club do expect a good pitch,” he added.
“It keeps me on my toes and I am quite confident that we will have one of the best pitches, if not the best, in League Two.”