Fareham Town using lockdown to improve state of their Cams Alders pitch

Lewis Masonin Football

Fareham Town are pushing through with some much-needed pitch repair work while their season is suspended.

Fareham Town are using lockdown to improve the state of their Cams Alders playing surface. Pic: Paul Proctor.

The Cams Alders playing surface was 'ruined' after the decision was taken to let last Tuesday's 3-3 Wessex League Premier Division draw with Alresford Town go ahead.

Fareham boss Pete Stiles was critical that the game was allowed to take place given the state of the pitch prior to kick-off.

Since lockdown was imposed last Thursday, the Reds have verti-drained the surface in a bid to ease ongoing issues with water on the pitch.

This involved Southern Ground Care punching holes in the pitch and lifting it slightly. Sand is applied prior to this and some is punched into the holes.

Nobody will even walk on the pitch for a fortnight, and the 10" deep holes will remain open which will help the soil dry out and 'breathe', thus promoting root growth.

Stiles said: "I'm surprised the game (against Alresford) was called on. We love our pitch and I feel sorry for the groundsman because he's got a helluva job trying to repair that now."

'The only good thing (about lockdown) is it means we can verti-drain our pitch which will help with the problem we've got with the water. We've got to make the most of it in any way we can and one of the ways is to do some repairs on the pitch."

Fareham are investigating the possibility of installing a new system of drainage, Passive Capillary Drainage.

This can be installed with very little damage done to the playing surface and involves 'moling' a length of one inch diameter fibreglass and stainless steel rope through the soil.

Water follows this to a drainage system away from the pitch.

Grants are available for this work and Fareham have already applied to the Football Foundation.

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