Head Groundsman Oli Makin says he “couldn’t have hoped for much more” as Dale get set for their first home friendly of the summer.
Saturday’s match against Blackburn Rovers is the first match to take place on the new Spotland surface and Oli says he is pleased with how the pitch has developed in such a short space of time.
He said: “We couldn’t have hoped for much more. There is quite a lot of grass cover on it given that it has only been six weeks since the contractors moved off site. There has been a lot of hard work involved in getting it to where we are now, and now we are here it should only improve further as we head towards the first league game. Supporters who come this Saturday will be able to notice difference if they come again for the Preston game.”
Oli also says the weather has been ideal since the summer overhaul was carried out.
“Since the contractors came in on that first day and took the top inch off, the weather has been perfect ever since. It was warm and dry when they were carrying out the works and we were lucky enough to get a bit of rain once they had left. The last two weeks have been excellent, and that coupled with our sprinkler system, has been ideal.”
With the first game now upon us, Oli says this week has been about making sure the grass is at an appropriate length and that it is ready for fast, flowing football.
“We’ve cut it twice everyday so far this week to keep it short and so we can get the pattern in it ahead of the Blackburn game. We cut it at 26mm which is the shortest you can go at this early stage and we’ve making sure that there’s plenty of water going onto it. That’ll be the same on Saturday so the ball runs true."