0 Friendlies may be staged elsewhere

Torquay United's determination to give new groundsman Mark Burd the best possible chance to keep producing a decent surface through the winter may mean that this week's reserve friendly against Dorchester Town becomes a rarity at Plainmoor.Quite a few Gulls fans have enjoyed the free-admission midweek afternoon games against Plymouth Argyle and Dorchester so far.

But I understand that some future friendlies may be staged elsewhere.

Former Exeter and Plymouth assistant groundsman Burd has done a good job turning last season's widely-criticised pitch into a pretty decent one.

"We won't do anything to jeopardise our pitch for the first team," said United chief executive Colin Lee.

"Mark has put a lot of effort and time into it, and it would be wrong of us to abuse it.

"I like groundsmen who fight for their pitch, because it shows that they care. Mark does that, and it shows that we've got the right man.

"It's an old pitch, and the underneath is not what it should be, so the schedule for reserve games will scrutinised closely.

"That doesn't mean that we won't have regular reserve games, but if we have to play the odd game at the training ground or away from home, then that's what we will do.

"The most important thing is, when our first team goes out at Plainmoor, they have the best pitch that we can give them."

Report from Soth Devon Herald Express

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