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Snow joke being the groundsman
BEING a football groundsman at this time of year is a tough and sometimes lonely existence.
Spending hour after hour, day after day trying to keep mother nature at bay to ensure disruption is minimal.
I dare say it is also a thankless task with much of the hard graft behind the scenes going unnoticed by the majority of fans.
Yet the groundsman is integral to the running of clubs like Worcester City.
Since Tom Allcut was taken on full-time at St George’s Lane in 2011, the pitch is in the best condition it has been for many a year.
However, the 18-year-old, who works alongside part-time assistant Paul Humphries and under the guidance of director Mike Davis, admits it is still far from perfect.
Despite all the preparation work in the summer months, keeping the surface in tip-top shape is proving a tricky task.
“We have looked after it and it has helped by not having Evesham United here. People say it should be an easier job but it’s been a lot harder this winter than last year,” Allcut said.
“The pitch has cut up quite badly, we’ve had a few problems with worm casts that have affected the pitch which hasn’t helped.
“We are trying to get a flat surface for the lads to play some good football on so it’s been tricky on that side of things.
“We can’t control the moisture at the moment, we struggle to keep the pitch dry. We had a game postponed here last month because of a waterlogged pitch which is quite rare.”
There is now the added problem of snow, which is preventing maintenance work and putting Saturday’s Blue Square Bet North match against Histon in doubt.
Allcut says the thought of getting the shovel out every day is “one of those where you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning” but he reckons that pales into insignificance when compared to other sporting clubs in the city.
“We have had a pretty poor winter but the people I feel for are the groundstaff at Worcestershire County Cricket Club,” he added. “They have had all the floods and now they’ve got this so I really do feel for my fellow people in the industry.”
It is now a race against time to get the Histon match on and Allcut says it is a case of all hands to the pump.
The teenager said: “We had the game against Altrincham (January 12) and we haven’t been able to get on the pitch since then. We’ve still got repairs to carry out under the snow.
“We have about 10 hours worth of work to do yet and then we’ve got to cut it, roll it and get it all marked.
“We are depending on volunteers to come down to give us a hand to get all the snow off. If people turn up then we’ll be able to get the game on but if they don’t we just won’t have the match.”