Bury boss David Flitcroft makes the perfect pitch
AS the dirt mountain built up outside the JD Stadium over the past few weeks, so did the mounting interest in the Bury revolution, according to manager David Flitcroft.
The Gigg Lane club has been a hive of activity in the close season, with a fleet of diggers and earth movers employed to lay a new, state-of-the-art surface.
More than £150,000 has been spent on the pitch, including a much-needed upgrade to the drainage and sprinkler systems.
Flitcroft admits the work, although some way from being finished, has already surpassed his expectations.
A better surface is seen as key to helping his side play the passing style he favours, but the Shakers boss says the project has also presented him with an added bonus.
“The club have been posting these pictures up online of the work going on and I think that is great because they show this is a live project,” he said.
“They prove the chairman and the directors here are not just men of words, they are men of action.
“The fans that travel past the stadium can see this work is going on, which is exciting in itself, but the website spreads that sense of excitement even further.
“It’s not just the supporters – I know of at least two players we have been talking to who have gone on the website to look at the photographs.
“It doesn’t matter how much I tell them about what we plan to do here, these pictures of the pitch show them that it is a real, live project, and I know they have been impressed by that.”
While the plans for the new pitch may help attract one or two new faces to the club, Flitcroft is just as concerned about creating the perfect environment for the rest of his players in the squad.
A couple of matches were postponed due to waterlogged pitches last season, with the FA Cup first round tie against Cambridge United the only game in the country lost that day due to the bad weather.
That prompted chairman Stewart Day to act, bringing in new equipment to help the ground staff in the short term, but the pitch continued to cut up badly, making it difficult for the players to put Flitcroft’s plans into action.
The Shakers boss eventually relented, favouring a more direct, safety-first approach in the final weeks of the season.
But he is now confident there will be no need for such compromises in the future.
“What is going on here is above and beyond what I thought was possible,” he said.
“We have even got a company coming in to monitor and manage the bedding in process during the season, so we are really pulling out all the stops to ensure we have the best playing surface in League Two.”