0 Croke Park groundsman hits back at Jim Gavin's criticism

jimgavinDublinCelebrations1Oct2016 largeCroke Park's head groundsman has hit back at Jim Gavin for his criticism of the stadium's pitch in last month's drawn All-Ireland final.

The Dublin manager said the surface could not deal with the rainfall that day. "We had two and a half millimetres of rain the last day on the pitch and if it's anything around that level of rain, probably because it's rolled so much and the grass is cut so tight, about 30 millimetres I think, it makes it very slippy and it makes it very difficult, for both teams, for Mayo and Dublin.

"That's the evidence that you can see anyway. You just have to get on with it. You can't control that."

About the groundstaff, Gavin added: "I am sure they know that it is not good enough."

Gavin's views were shared by his former player Alan Brogan who said the turf "is the slippiest playing surface I know after rainfall and I'm not talking about a deluge either".

Gavin is set to speak in Croke Park next month at the Golf Course Superintendents Association of Ireland's national education day.

On Twitter yesterday, Croke Park pitch manager Stuart Wilson questioned the presence of Gavin at the event.

"Jim Gavin talking about team building and motivation. He did a great job on my team after the final this year #blamethepitch #gladimonholiday"

Gavin is set to give a 30-minute presentation on the topic of "team building and motivation" on Tuesday, November 22.

GAA stadium and commercial director Peter McKenna defended the pitch, saying it performed well in the circumstances.

"I don't think it's an issue. We regularly measure the moisture, hardness and traction of the pitch using specific devices, so we can have comparisons game-on-game, month-on-month, year-on-year. We make sure that these readings are within set tolerances.

"We aren't standing outside, sticking our finger in the air and saying 'it'll be grand'; this is methodically looked at."

You can read the original article from Irish Examiner HERE

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