Statement relating to the pitch at The Freebets.co.uk Stadium
Following the recent postponement of the Hemel Hempstead match the club is providing more information in regards to the pitch and the inherent problems faced by the ground staff.
Everyone at the club understands the frustrations attached to postponed games but every effort is made to get games on. There are however some underlying problems.
Despite various remedial and improvement works since Wealdstone moved to Grosvenor Vale the problems we have on site both on the main pitch and outside pitches are hereditary and existed long before we moved in. With the subsoil being mainly clay, when we experience mild wet winters such as currently, which started in October, the water table is high, so even though we might have a few days of dry weather, the next period of ran simply tops water levels back up.
This can clearly be seen with the amount of water in the ditches around the site. The main pitch has some drainage, but not a total, fully structured drainage system, which is clear and working and water is being efficiently pumped away from site into the main drains.
The main problem area on the pitch is not assessed to be ‘Dead Fox Corner’ as many think, but either side of the half way line, by the technical areas, with the far end of the pitch suffering most.
We believe this problem was caused before our time at The Vale very possibly when the sub station was dug out and constructed for the erection of the transmitter mast
From information received from earlier periods at the ground, there was not a problem in this area before and we believe that when the sub station was constructed damage was done either to the drains in that area or even possibly an underground stream was disturbed.
The result is that we are left with an area of around about 30 yards by 20 yards of standing water that will not naturally dissipate easily as we have at present.
It is only managing the amount games played on the pitch during these periods that we are able to get matches on, but even our best laid plans fall foul of the weather, with Monday being no exception, when we had a burst of very heavy rain around 10-30am that morning.
The club will continue to investigate means of resolving these issues but will inevitably mean considerable financial investment.