We have taken on board all the government advice relating to the coronavirus outbreak and are working inside the stadium on limited staffing levels who work under strict virus caution instruction and control and there are things we can do to be proactive for when football returns to the Abbey.
This unforeseen situation has meant that we have had to bring as much work forward as possible as you will be aware we normally get 10-12 weeks to undertake all the pitch renovation work and stadium inspections and maintenance, We have been very fortunate that a number of our suppliers and friends of the football club have been generous and donated materials to me that enables us to get essential work done.
We have had a problem at the North west end of the pitch this season in that all the constant heavy rain has took its toll on the playing surface, We had made the decision to install a new main drain to harvest the water from the lateral drains, This work was due to have been carried out in the first week of May but it is now unlikely that we will get the normal close season break of 10-12 weeks so with that in mind the decision was made to install the drain immediately during this forced break .
All work carried out at no cost to the club for materials
The drain had to be dug out by hand to ensure that we did not hit any of the irrigation pipes, cables and pre-existing drainage.
The drainage system on the playing surface is essential as the sub-soil is solid clay and creates a barrier preventing water movement, the other negative to this sub-soil is the reduces the life of the porous drains, our excavation showed the new drains installed just four years ago are already showing signs of reduced flow due to contamination of fine particles of the clay sub-soil that have washed in to the pipework. The new drain was essential as this area is used for the home team warm up and receives intensive footwork and wear
The playing surface re-instated after several days hard work installing the new pipework and will hopefully be fully repaired in time for the re-commencement of the football.
I have to say a special thanks to Mick Brown and the stadium volunteers who have continued to work hard and assist around the stadium during these difficult times in order to ensure the stadium will be ready for use once things get going again.
If any other companies or suppliers feel that they can help with any donations of materials like paint, paint brushes, timber, screws etc please get in contact with me.
Ian Darler Stadium Manager / Head Groundsman