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Pitch perfect...

The break in football allows Trevor Wilkin and his team to ensure the Ewood Park playing surface is pristine for when the games resume

23 March 2020

Whilst people across the country are being advised to work from home, that's not quite so easy for Rovers' head groundsman Trevor Wilkin.

Long-serving Trevor, who has been with the club for almost four decades, admits that for him and his staff it's a case of business as usual.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced football to be postponed until Thursday 30th April, and although it's frustrating for all, for Wilkin it's the perfect break to get the pitch back into tip-top condition.

“We carry on as normal, it’s not really had an impact on us to be honest," he told iFollow Rovers when asked about the fact football is on hold.

“Grass doesn’t stop growing because of the coronavirus. We keep going, although we are running on skeleton staff because lads have got holidays booked.

“They need time off with their families, especially now that the schools are off. So we’ll keep plodding on until we’re told different.

“It was quite bizarre, because the Friday before the Bristol City game we were setting up as normal, and then we got the phone call to say that the game was off.

“We’d taken all the lighting off, so they had to be dragged back on the pitch and then initially we were all set to get everything ready for the Leeds game.

“That’s now been put back, so it’s crazy times right now, but the break came at a good time for us at Ewood to be honest."

There have been 19 first team games played at Ewood Park so far this season, whilst the Academy's excellent FA Youth Cup have all been held at our home.

There have been signs of wear and tear, but Wilkin's eager to ensure the turf is just right for when the games resume.

“We’d just come out of a bad winter, a wet winter, playing a lot  of games in the wrong conditions, but I know that’s the name of the game," he added.

“We’d done really well in the FA Youth Cup, which was great for the club, but it was horrendous for me.

“Every time we seem to play a Youth Cup game and a first team game at home, it seems that it always rains. I’ve been here for 40 years now, and you’re normally preparing for frost, but it’s been raining for weeks and weeks now.

“I think we’ve hit 30 home games this season already before the postponements.

“We’re hopeful the pitch can be dried out and pristine by the time the next home game comes around.

“It was good on a personal level, but I’d have obviously preferred to have continued to play football, especially because this time of year does make the pitch better."


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