Grimsby Town groundsman Mike Phillips has blamed the near-impossible job of keeping Blundell Park pristine on the advent of bladed football boots.
Phillips, who was crowned League Two groundsman of the year for last season, has no high tech aids to keep the pitch playable, such as undersoil heating, sunlamps and artificial turf.
Instead he tends to a pitch made up of what he calls meadow grass – which is not far removed from your back garden at home.
And the bane of his life is blades on football boots.' He told the Football League website:
After each match we are taking grass away. I took eight big bags of grass off the pitch after the Youth Cup tie here. That is grass that won’t grow back over the winter.
Some of the wear is down to the boots players wear these days – the ones with blades. Boots with blades have up to 13 studs on them, which is going to tear up the grass.
In the 80’s they had boots with aluminium studs. There were only about six studs on each boot.
With all the twisting and turning you do with a pair of boots with blades, there’s going to be a lot more damage than there would be with studs.
Phillips adds he “winces a bit” every time his hard work is undone by a rambunctious tackle, but he said:
You get used to it.
It is my job to get it as good as possible and part of that is to get it back after it has been played on.
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