The Groundsman

February 2015

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Page 26 of 51

?? " " All pitches were re-seeded in four directions; three ways by disc seeding and one by dimple seeding. Souters Sports' in-house workforce was on-site seven days a week until completion. Mark Higgs was in charge of the project for the contractors, and also worked in conjunction with PSD, the club's pitch adviser. "The depth of the sward on the academy pitches with the new slit drainage is excellent, as it is on all eight of the pitches," said Andrew. "All the pitches looked and played superbly from the off and, Souters did a great job for us on a very tight specified schedule." Previous work at the club has included the upgrading of the floodlit match pitch. This includes the introduction of 420m³ of sand ameliorated into the upper 50mm of topsoil after localised re-levelling works, additional lateral drainage and secondary drainage installation using the Koro Topdrain, which excavates sand slits 50mm wide, 300mm deep at 450mm centres and backfills with injected sand in one pass, to further enhance surface drainage capabilities. The pitch was then treated with an application of pre-seed fertiliser at a rate of 35g/m² and seeded with sports rye mix, supplied by the club, at 45g/m². Other works have included fraise mowing, vertidraining, sand topdressing, sand slitting with the Blec Vibramaster, fertilising and re-seeding. Four further pitches underwent a more basic renovation programme of scarifying, sand topdressing, vertidraining, fertilising and over seeding. l Souters Sports has been successfully renovating Stoke City's training ground every year for the past six years AWARD SPONSOR 27 the Groundsman February 2015

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