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The Roots Hall pitch

RHB

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1654691592438.png

Over the years that I have been watching Southend United one of our proud boasts to other fans has been the quality and condition of the Roots Hall pitch. However over the past few seasons I have seen a deterioration in the quality of the playing surface, which in turn has hampered a style of play which a lot of us cry out for. And if we are signing ball playing midfielders and forwards, then I want the playing surface to be good enough for them to express themselves.

I have not seen any news yet on what may happen with the pitch for next season but my hope is that it will be dug up and re-laid in a manner that enables us to play an 'on the ground' style of football. Chances are that this thread is a bit early unless our ITKs are ready and wiling to provide a pitch condition update, but I would be interested to hear what others think about the state of the pitch over the past few years and what they hope for from this season's surface.

This could be a slow burner/grower
 

THE SEVENTIES NORTH BANK

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It used to be dug over, relayed with grass seeds and watered in the break, when the pitch was in a poor condition. Now we are non league, I'm not sure they can afford to do it.
 

Smiffy

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Funny enough there was a little bit of chat about this in one of my whatsapp groups yesterday.

I believe it is being re-turfed, but to what extent and how much money and effort is going into that I don't know.

Totally agree that the standard of the Roots Hall pitch has dropped off massively over the last 5 or 6 seasons. The once pristine surface that was always one of the best around in the EFL is now a bang average one.

The South stand end in particular is always a huge problem. Yes I know it's almost always in the shade that end and that doesn't help with drying out etc. But it's never been this much of an issue. I've genuinely seen better goalmouths on some park pitches across the Borough. It's not just the goalmouths either, all over it was cutting up badly and incredibly bobbly. That despite a relatively dry winter.

As always you get what you pay for I suppose. Will the required money be ploughed (excuse the pun) into making it a top quality surface again?....I hope so, as Kev needs and deserves a better surface than we've seen in recent times. I won't hold my breath though.

Best surface I saw this season was at Boreham Wood. Was like a carpet and I thought it was 4G for a minute. Spoke to the groundsman there and he said Arsenal chuck in tens of thousands to keep it maintained to a very high standard for their Women/Academy to use. That's the difference I suppose.

I get the feeling we are a bit late to start works on the pitch as well. I see a lot of NL clubs getting to work literally days after the season finished. But we decide to rake in extra cash by letting it out for a few weeks at the end of every season. It may only be a few weeks, but that is crucial when it comes to preparing a surface properly surely. But, what's more important I guess.
 

THE SEVENTIES NORTH BANK

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The pitch has been of a very poor standard since head groundsman Ken Hare was sacked 5 or 6 years ago, after the frozen pitch postponed home game against Bolton. He may or may not have messed up that game(Although he got a massive pay out after getting his union involved) stating unfair dismissal after being with Southend for 27 years. He certainly knew how to lay a good new pitch. Since then, we don't know it the new guy has been given the same budget, with all the cuts at the club, so it might not be his fault.
 

Smiffy

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The pitch has been of a very poor standard since head groundsman Ken Hare was sacked 5 or 6 years ago, after the frozen pitch postponed home game against Bolton. He may or may not have messed up that game(Although he got a massive pay out after getting his union involved) stating unfair dismissal after being with Southend for 27 years. He certainly knew how to lay a good new pitch. Since then, we don't know it the new guy has been given the same budget, with all the cuts at the club, so it might not be his fault.
Agreed. I don't think any blame can be handed to the groundsman. He can only work with what he is given and I'd suggest that's not a great deal.
 

hlane17

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Played on RH before the Game for Barks and gave it the benefit of the doubt after a long hard season with some poor weather at the Hall, but it was not very good at all... expected to be running on carpet but it was far from it.

Dare I say my local pitches at Rayleigh FC are just as good on a Sunday league budget...
 

RHB

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An open shout to @StanCollymore or any of the United staffers that may have a peek on here. What are the plans for the pitch this season? I doubt you will break Club confidentiality by sharing your thoughts. and I, and others, would love to know.
 

Cricko

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Not too long ago this happened to the pitch and I think we were treated to vids of the work as it happened.

We have this bloke this year.
Funny Farmer, Young Man Lying In Wheelbarrow In Green Vegetable Garden  Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 140519916.
 
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Reactions: RHB

londonblue

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View attachment 20701

Over the years that I have been watching Southend United one of our proud boasts to other fans has been the quality and condition of the Roots Hall pitch. However over the past few seasons I have seen a deterioration in the quality of the playing surface, which in turn has hampered a style of play which a lot of us cry out for. And if we are signing ball playing midfielders and forwards, then I want the playing surface to be good enough for them to express themselves.

I have not seen any news yet on what may happen with the pitch for next season but my hope is that it will be dug up and re-laid in a manner that enables us to play an 'on the ground' style of football. Chances are that this thread is a bit early unless our ITKs are ready and wiling to provide a pitch condition update, but I would be interested to hear what others think about the state of the pitch over the past few years and what they hope for from this season's surface.

This could be a slow burner/grower
Sorry to upset you, but I think that proud boast is misplaced. Back in the 1990s I used to work with a guy who was a Watford youth goalkeeper. He never made it because he was too short, i.e. he didn't grow tall enough, but he ended up coaching the Watford academy goalkeepers.

When I told him I was a Southend fan and mentioned the quality of our pitch. He basically told me that a) he had played on it a number of times and always found it to be very poor, and b) that that was the general consensus within football, i.e. that the Roots Hall pitch was below standard.
 

RHB

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Sorry to upset you, but I think that proud boast is misplaced. Back in the 1990s I used to work with a guy who was a Watford youth goalkeeper. He never made it because he was too short, i.e. he didn't grow tall enough, but he ended up coaching the Watford academy goalkeepers.

When I told him I was a Southend fan and mentioned the quality of our pitch. He basically told me that a) he had played on it a number of times and always found it to be very poor, and b) that that was the general consensus within football, i.e. that the Roots Hall pitch was below standard.
You're not going to upset me at all @londonblue. I wasn't talking about the 90s, but more about the 60s through to the early 80s, and back then it was a class act and up there the playing surface at Carlisle back in the day.
 

henry18

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I’ve been told the pitch has started to be stripped today. Will be re seeded
 

Shrimpergarry

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You're not going to upset me at all @londonblue. I wasn't talking about the 90s, but the 60s through to the early 80s, and back then it was a class act and up there the playing surface at Carlisle back in the day.
Didn't our groundsman get poached by Grasshoppers of Zurich for advice, or did I dream that?
 

Fairport

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A few seasons ago Rafa Benitez brought his Newcastle team here for a friendly and said he thought the playing surface was good.
 

londonblue

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You're not going to upset me at all @londonblue. I wasn't talking about the 90s, but the 60s through to the early 80s, and back then it was a class act and up there the playing surface at Carlisle back in the day.
It may have been earlier, but this guy played on the pitch late 80s and early 90s. The reality seems to be that we all believed the pitch to be better than it actually was. Although, it could be that it was better before then, i.e. the 60s and 70s, but that was around 50 years and more ago. Talk about living off past glories!
 

RHB

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It may have been earlier, but this guy played on the pitch late 80s and early 90s. The reality seems to be that we all believed the pitch to be better than it actually was. Although, it could be that it was better before then, i.e. the 60s and 70s, but that was around 50 years and more ago. Talk about living off past glories!
Sadly, I've been around long enough to remember stuff from those eras and since then for that matter. I'm not sure how past glories comes into it, but whatever.
 
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