0 Fond farewell to Maine Road

Farewell to Maine Road

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The last first team game has now passed at Maine Road, one of the most historic football venues in Britain. I have worked here for twelve years and feel privileged to have been here for part of the clubs 80 year tenancy. The final game against Southampton promised to be an occasion no-one dared to miss, this is how we prepared for theendmaineroad1.jpg

The day before the game, the pitch was cut early in the morning with a heavy dew lying on the surface-I always like to prepare a pitch with a slightly wet surface as it seems to make the grass shades stand out more.

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Following the early Saturday morning cut, we did some selective line marking as we were due to cut on the Sunday as well, the day of the game. That afternoon was used as a practice run for putting the staging on and off which was to be used for the post match entertainment, planned only, if the fans stayed off the pitch at the final whistle.endmaineroad5.jpg

The day of the game again saw an early start with the pitch being mown and marked by 9.30am. This had to be completed early as there were two sound checks to be done on the centre circle later in the morning.

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The pitch once more looked outstanding, as it has all season, providing the ideal platform for the final first team game at Maine Road.

Around thirty minutes before kick off, we were presented with the trophy for having the best pitch in the Premiership, something we are extremely proud of achieving as a team in the final season here. I should say that we couldn't have won the award without the backing of our management and by all working hard together as a team, putting a lot of work and a lot more hours in. It is pleasing to look at the pitch now, it has an established grass cover of almost 100%, not bad for the end of the season, although at least 70% is poa annua (annual meadow grass). endmaineroad9.jpg

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The final afternoon arrived and the teams came out to a blast of CO2 canisters going off, they lined up on blue carpets before being introduced to the guests of honour, Colin Bell, Malcolm Allison and Mrs Noraendmaineroad13.jpg

The game itself ended in 1-0 defeat, but in many ways the result was secondary to the occasion and at endmaineroad15.jpg

We all held our breath-but to our amazement, not one fan went on the pitch. The entertainment went on with musical performances from Badly Drawn Boy and The Doves, who I am told are quite good and have been in the charts- I think I must be losing touch with the modern world!

The end of the mini concert came and then the place was a mist offireworks, flame projectors, streamers and worst of all confetti-lots and lots of confetti, all set off as a finale to our stay here, still the fans stayed off the pitch, and as some madeendmaineroad17.jpg

As for us, we are now faced with a minimum of 16 games between now and mid-June as well as Academy training here for a fortnight, this was offered in return for us doing the training ground renovations early.

It will be a sad day to leave here but offers a new challenge across the City, where we will aim to give the players the best surface possible. We've enjoyed a fantastic year but fortunes change from one season to another and while we are at the top at the moment we're going to enjoy it. I know that there will be plenty of people trying to win the award again next year, but why worry, that's for next season.
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