August 11, 2021

After a successful ‘Pitch In’ fundraising scheme with sponsors and fans, Altrincham FC has taken the opportunity to sort out the longstanding problems with the pitch drainage. During last season’s first campaign back at the National League level, a number of games were postponed and the pitch suffered badly. The board acted swiftly to resolve this potential obstacle to future success and with a long-term vision to transform the stadium and take the club into the Football League, have provided the opportunity to make that plan a reality by investing £180,000 in a new pitch.

Secondary Drainage Installation

Duncan Ross successfully secured the tender and the proposed works were set to commence in early June 2021. The works compromised the removal of the existing playing surface including all root matter, a new primary drainage system across the entire pitch, and new secondary drainage slits consisting of gravel and sand at 1-meter centres. A layer of rootzone was applied and keyed into the surface and lastly, the final profile was rotor-raked level in preparation for seeding. As shown below, the grass was up in a matter of days due to brilliant weather conditions, an existing successful irrigation system, and a professional groundsman.

Germination after 8 days of seeding

As referenced by John Edwards (Altrincham FC News, 7th August 2021)

Time will tell, but the early signs are distinctly promising after some ferocious recent downpours put the new drainage system to the test. So, how did it fare? Let Alty director Neil Faulkner explain. 

‘Normally, if 15-20mm of rain falls in the space of 24 hours, it is enough to get a game called off,’ he said. ‘Last week, we had 46mm overnight, yet there wasn’t so much as a single puddle on the new pitch the next day.’

View the video of the works: