PTS pitch to be relaid as Cobblers groundsman explains previous problems

Two games have been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch this season

By James Heneghan
Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 9:17 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 9:20 am
PTS Academy Stadium.
PTS Academy Stadium.

Cobblers head groundsman Paul Knowles has confirmed the PTS Academy Stadium playing surface will be totally relaid this summer.

The club were unable to carry out any extensive work last summer due to COVID and the unusual playing schedule, with the League Two play-offs not taking place until the end of June.

But Knowles and his team have a busy few months ahead as he gets to work on both the Sixfields pitch and Town's training base at Moulton College ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.

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"About six or seven years ago we took the pitch up and 120 tons of fibre sand were added in to make the pitch better with less cutting up but in the last year that pitch had reached the end of its shelf life," Knowles explained.

"The play-offs taking place in late June last summer meant we didn't have the window to carry out the work that was needed and with those circumstances in mind, the pitch probably went a year beyond its expected life cycle.

"This summer we have stripped off the top inch to remove all the weaker grass, we have carried out work to improve the drainage and there is another 120 tons of fibre sand going in to improve the playability and get it back to how it was a few years ago. We want the players to get back to trusting the pitch as they did a few years ago and I am confident we can do that.

"Last year Covid worked against us in terms of the timings but this summer we have been able to get on the pitch earlier than we usually can and we do have that magic seven or eight week window we always look for to do the major renovation we are carrying out this summer.

"Playability will be a big issue for us next season and I am confident the pitch will play as well as possible. Things are going well and we are planning to have the pitch ready for early July.

"We hope to be cutting the new grass back by the end of May and then it will be growing and strengthening through June and should be all good to go by the time the pre-season matches start."