Pitch - Contractors start work.

Last updated : 28 August 2009 By Bigrich.....

After all the controversy about the state of the pitch at Don Valley after the U2 gig last week, work starts today on relaying parts of the playing surface affected.

Jim Davison the Millers groundsman, spoke to the Advertiser on the work to be carried out, he said: "The new grass will be laid in a T-shape from the halfway line towards the goal. By Tuesday, we will have a pitch that looks 80 per cent OK again.

"It will be two or three weeks before the grass is all back to the same colour because nature has to take its course, but it will be dead level and laid with all the latest equipment.

"The man we've brought in, Carl Pass, reinstated the pitch at Wembley Stadium after U2's gig there."

On Rochdale's claim that glass and nails had been found on the playing surface prior to the game on Sunday Jim said:

"For a start, I was at the U2 concert and Don Valley operated a non-glass policy. Also, we mopped up the pitch with big rotary mowers to make sure everything was picked up.

"The fact the pitch was discoloured was no shock to me. Jokingly, I told people who stopped me in the street before to bring sun glasses because the grass would be so dramatic.

"It had been starved of light and water and there was also a worn area caused by the tour trucks."

Jim and his team had to work hard in the short time they had to get the pitch ready:

"We did a remarkable job considering the time we had and I admit I was the most relieved man in the stadium when the referee blew his whistle to start the game.

"It wasn't ideal but at the end of the day the pitch doesn't belong to Rotherham United. We are just part of the set-up under Sheffield International Venues, who manage the stadium."

Jim went on to say: "The re-turfers will start work at about midday today and they say they'll be done by around 2 o'clock tomorrow afternoon.

"The work is being paid for by the authorities and the benefit of all this is that we will actually have a fresher, better pitch that could stand us in good stead towards the end of the season."

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