Busy at Valley Parade

David Markhamin Rugby

Busy at Valley Parade

By David Markham

Another hectic schedule of matches has put enormous strains on Bradford City's pitch at Valley Parade.

Ground staff are repairing the pitch after the ground staged two Bradford City First Division football matches and one Bradford Bulls Super League game in a five-day period.

City played Manchester City on Friday evening (March 8) shown live on ITV Digital followed two days later by the Bulls Super League game against Warrington on the Sunday (March 10). Then, two days later, came City's match against Birmingham City (Tuesday, March 12).

Stadium manager Allan Gilliver said: "We have had a lot of problems. Luckily we vertidrained the pitch before the Manchester City match. Otherwise, we wouldn't have played. The pitch was like a pudding after the Birmingham match"

That was a description that Birmingham manager Steve Bruce also used at his post match press conference as he reflected on his side's 3-1 win.

Allan Gilliver said: "The pitch wasn't too bad after the Manchester City game, but we worked all day Saturday putting back the divots, re-lining and putting in rugby posts for the Bulls' game.

"It rained before and during the Bulls' match and the pitch was badly cut up. On Monday we trod down the divots, changed the lines and the posts ready for the Birmingham game and rolled the pitch as best we could.

"The pitch cut up badly again during the Birmingham game so we are treading the divots back again.

"We will be using the vertidrain again on Friday (March 15). It has been our lifesaver."

Now, Allan and his staff face another hectic spell of football and rugby league matches, including England under-21 v Italy under-21.

The schedule will start with a Division One football match against Crewe on Saturday, March 23 followed by the England under-21 match on Tuesday, March 26, Bradford Bulls Super League match against Hull on Thursday, March 28 and Bradford City v Norwich on Easter Monday (April 1).
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