Update on the Spectrum Playing Surface

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Supporters of Guildford City Football Club could well be forgiven for forgetting the route to the Spectrum such has been the length of time since we last played a home fixture. For the record it was actually on Saturday 6 December that we last played at home. It was Don Chislett’s first match in charge; the visitors were Mole Valley and goals from Anthony Baker and Nathaniel Williams gave us a 2-2 draw. That seems such a long time ago now, as indeed at the moment also seems our last match of any kind which was way back on 3 January at Chertsey.

During the period since 6 December we have lost five home matches postponed because of a waterlogged Spectrum pitch. In truth, and very frustratingly, 90% of the pitch has been perfectly playable, but a small area in the “Bus Stop” corner has become saturated and even minimal amounts of rain linger for lengthy periods. We have had a problem in this area of the pitch for a season or two but this winter it has become significantly worse. When matches are lost due to the weather we do our best to immediately advise supporters via Twitter and the website. Despite this we are aware that spectators have turned up at the Spectrum only to find that the match is off. We do apologise to you for this inconvenience and indeed your disappointment, which I can confirm we all share.

So what is happening to try and resolve the issue? Our landlords Freedom Leisure, together with Guildford Borough Council’s Parks Department, have several times verti-drained the affected area to try and increase drainage, although so far unsuccessfully. The drains under the pitch have been “rodded” and a search of the drains with CCTV looking for blockages will take place shortly. In addition the water pipes used in the summer for watering the pitch will be pressure tested to check for potential leaks under the playing surface. With five home matches due to take place in February it is important that we get the matter resolved as soon as possible and both Freedom Leisure and the Parks Department are being very supportive.

Rest assured that our new squad of players haven’t been sitting idly by merely waiting for a pitch to be playable. Training has been in full swing – often three times a week – and gradually one or two new faces have been introduced to the squad. Indeed it is hoped that a significant new loan signing will be added to the squad this week in time for this Saturday’s encounter at Hartley Wintney (kick-off 3pm).

All being well our next home fixture is on Wednesday 4 February when championship challenging Cove visit the Spectrum. We hope to see you there.

Barry Underwood
Club Secretary
Guildford City F.C.