A Blotter on the landscape

Somerset CCC lend the Grecians water removal machinery

In a battle against the elements, the ground staff at Exeter City Football Club are taking every available measure to ensure the St James Park playing surface is playable for the visit of Portsmouth on Saturday for the 3pm kick-off.  To aid their efforts, they have called on the heavy-duty services of ‘the Blotter’ from Somerset County Cricket Club.

Football matches across the region have been hit through 2014 because of the tumultuous weather, which is why Estates Manager Clive Pring and his team have been keen to take every precaution possible ahead of the visit of Portsmouth.

The Blotter is usually used to clear the surface at the County Ground in Taunton, but Clive explained how it will help at St James Park.

He explained: “It is a bigger version of the water hogs that we have at the moment – it is basically a couple of sponges on rollers which soak up the water and squeeze it out.

“We’re up for the fight again and up for the battle of getting this big game on for the weekend.  We don’t want to disappoint anybody, so we’re doing everything we possibly can.”

All eyes are on Clive and his team during a busy couple of days ahead of the game, and Clive passed thanks to his opposite number from Somerset CCC, Simon Lee.

The City estates team headed down to Torquay United last season to try and help to clear their pitch ahead of a derby fixture at Plainmoor, and the team at Somerset are also contributing towards the groundsmen’s union with their show of goodwill.

“We’re building a good relationship with Somerset,” said Clive.  “We all like to help one another out – we asked the question and they said we can use it here.

“Their head groundsman Simon is going to come down on Saturday to operate it if need be, which is even better because it gives us another pair of hands.  It’s a small world and we like to help each other as and when we can.”

Don’t forget that you can save up to £6 per ticket for Saturday’s game against Pompey, just by buying online in advance.  Make sure that you aren’t the one to miss out on the best prices by booking now – just click here to go to the online ticket portal or click here for more information on ticketing for this fixture.