HARTLEPOOL United’s Victoria Park playing surface has been praised after picking up marks above the divisional average for Sky Bet League Two clubs.
The Football League’s Playing Surfaces Committee have been in touch with head groundsman Dave Brown to inform the Clarence Road club his pitch has an average mark, so far this campaign, of 4.70, compared to an average of 4.12 across League Two.
The marks are awarded by the referee as well as the visiting manager after each game and the figures reveal that Pools are near the top of the league when it comes to the pitch.
“I’m very pleased with that and hope that we can stay around that mark for the rest of the season,” Brown told the club website.
“We’ve not really had a winter yet and that’s usually the point of the year which sorts the men from the boys in terms of playing surfaces so we’ll see what the next few weeks bring.
“Hopefully the temperatures will keep fairly stable and we can continue to provide a high-quality surface for the lads to play their passing football on.”
The work of the groundstaff has been praised by Pools boss Colin Cooper, who said it is no fluke The Vic’s pitch is among the best in the country.
Trimdon-born Cooper said: “It struck me from the very first day I walked in to the club that Dave absolutely loves that pitch.
“I know other groundsman up and down the country love their pitches too but Dave is on a different level and that’s why it’s always looking so good.
“I have to say a big thank you to Dave and all of his staff, who work extremely hard to make sure we have the best possible playing surface every single week.”
Marks will be collated throughout the rest of season and those clubs who are at the top of the rankings will get a visit from the Playing Surfaces Committee who will decide on an overall winner.
– RICHARD MENNEAR