Overcoming Non-league pitch problems at Padiham FC.
Since the middle of the nineties the club has gone from strength to strength, and the team has progressed to the top of the second division of the North West Counties League. Their aspirations are to reach the Unibond League, so ground improvements are still ongoing. Although not on the initial agenda of improvements, the pitch has laterally also been improved. Historically the surface was
The club recognise the need to have a decent playing surface, not only to progress into higher leagues, but also to attract better players to the club. In the last couple of years, money has been set aside to verti drain the pitch and 40 tonne dressings of 70:30 root zone have been applied.
Bob said. " Since the renovation work was undertaken last year, the pitch has held up far better in the areas that we concentrated on. Primarily we dressed the pitch through the worst areas; which included the south goalmouth and middle of the park. The results of doing this work has been tremendous to see, and the hope is that funds will be available to do more of the same at the end of this coming season.
The pitch was built originally as a cut and fill, so the west side of the pitch takes the water that comes out of the hillside. We would like to dig a ditch and create a shingle filled French drain around the edge to take this excess water away from the pitch."
Bob continued." We have to host so many games to bring revenue in that I've forgotten how many we've had to date this season, but it's a lot. We have mid week matches and training as well as Saturday and Sunday matches so there's always something on.The club bought me a small ride on rotary mower last year and this has helped me to do the work. I can attach a spiker and a roller to the mower for the different jobs that I need to do, I also have a transfer wheel marker and dry liner. After that, the tools available are limited, but we get by with what we've got! I spend my time putting back the worst of the divots and then rolling the surface flat ready for the next game. This is assuming I can get on the pitch with a machine. The recent wet weather hasn't helped at all, but the pitch will live to fight another day."