Rotherham born Dave Fellowes has come back home and is using his experience as Fulham's head groundsman to give New York a playing surface fit to grace the stadium.
The Millers' player facilities manager told today's Advertiser Fellowes said; “I am 100 per cent confident that this pitch will be absolutely fantastic. Tony Stewart has given me the backing to do it and everything is in place, so there is no reason why we can't produce an even better pitch than the club used to have at Millmoor and hopefully one of the best in the country."
“I want to pass on my knowledge I've gained at the top and bring it down to a lower league and get the same results. The manager wants the best surface possible to play his type of football, passing football, so we have to deliver that for him.”
Having spent 9 years at Fulham, Dave speaks of his experiance of bringing quality pitchs from nothing; “Every year at Fulham we used to take the top off the pitch and turn it over. About ten times I've brought a pitch on from nothing. It is quite scary but it is enjoyable and if you get the right weather then it really helps."
“It will have its first cut three weeks from seeding and then it's just a case of regular cutting, fertilising and irrigation to bring it on. By the time the contractors hand over the stadium, it will be ready for play.”
“There will be a lot of cutting required to get the stripes in and the presentation right. Ninety per cent of it is presentation because everything has to be bang perfect come three o'clock on a matchday."
“Five minutes before kick-off, everyone is a groundsman and as soon as the whistle goes, everyone is a referee. In this day and age, with TV and all the attention, you can't leave anything to chance. You have to make everything perfect.”
Dave went on to give a few facts about the pitch. Despite rumours the grass will be 100% rye grass, Fibre sand has been used in the base which contains Nylon strands to make it stronger and more stable.
The pitch can be made bigger should the Millers want to host any international games at New York. With that in mind, Dave made the decision to make the move from Craven Cottage to New York; “I had been at Fulham eight or nine years; I got my spurs there. Although not many people would realise it because of my accent, I'm a Yorkshire lad. All my family and friends are up here and obviously with the new stadium and the new training ground on the horizon, to be in charge of all of that is a fantastic opportunity and I sent my CV in."
“I know Tony is keen on creating a legacy and that's another reason I came here; to be part of that legacy. With this stadium and the set-up we have now at Rotherham, it deserves to be in the Championship and who knows, one day maybe in the Premier League.” he added