Work to improve the stability of the Fir Park pitch is going extremely well and is expected to be fully completed by this Friday.
Contractors have been working since last Saturday and are well on their way to completing the programme within the week.
Head Groundsman Ian Wilson updated motherwellfc.co.uk on what has been going on, “We’ve added 400 tonnes of fibre reinforcement to the pitch that we hope holds together with greater stability next season.
“The process of power harrowing has begun, which, in Laymen’s terms, is like big fingers that rotivates the fibre with the top four inches of rootzone. Almost like a whisk if you can imagine?
“When that’s finished, we’ll firm it up with the rollers, grade it so it’s perfectly flat before adding a pre-seeder fertilizer. When that is complete, we’re hoping to seed the pitch and cover it with the germination covers this Friday which means the whole process will be complete within a week and ahead of schedule.”
Wilson also spoke, in-depth; about the effect the fibresand will have on the drainage system and explained how the leaders in sports turf research have overseen the whole project.
“This (adding fibresand) won’t cause the same problems we suffered a few years ago with drainage because we have got such a good rootzone.
“Previously, our pitch was based almost purely on clay which, combined with the heat from the Under Soil Heating pipes, caused an almost impenetrable layer that the water couldn’t drain through.
“We also now have a partnership with STRI, who are the independent market leader in consultancy & research for sports surfaces. They are in twice a day to ensure that all the processes that are being carried out are being done correctly.
“We have been dealing with Andy Cole and Richard Windows on this project. Andy is the stadium expert for the likes of FIFA and will be going to the World Cup in that capacity. He also works closely with the Premier League in England the English FA so we really have the guys who are leaders in their field in to help us.
“They have conducted, on our behalf, a feeding and aeration programme. On their recommendation, we have also purchased machines like moisture meters, clegg hammers for firmness and twisting meters so we can continually monitor the pitch throughout the year. As well as that, we will be installing a weather station here at Fir Park to give us the best possible chance of monitoring weather trends so we can react appropriately.
“STRI will continue to work with us throughout the year, popping in to ensure everything is working well to give us the best possible chance.”