Work to install drainage begins at South Shields FC’s Mariners Park

South Shields FC vice-chairman Gary Crutwell oversees the drainage work at Mariners Park
South Shields FC vice-chairman Gary Crutwell oversees the drainage work at Mariners Park
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South Shields Football Club is hoping for a pitch-perfect summer after work to install new drainage at Mariners Park began.

Shields – who won promotion to Northern League Division One this season as champions – were badly hit by the weather over the winter.

I’m absolutely delighted it is finally getting proper drainage installed to hopefully give us one of the best pitches in the league

Gary Crutwell

As with most Northern League clubs, they suffered a string of postponements, and chairman Geoff Thompson decided that installing a complete drainage system and new playing surface for next season was a priority.

Today, contractors got to work on the pitch, which is expected to take up to 14 weeks to get back to a playing standard. Vice chairman Gary Crutwell – who also acts as the club’s groundsman – feels the investment will be well worth it.

He said: “The digging, installing the drains and resurfacing should only take about 12 days, but it will take a while to get it back to playing standard.

“I’ve been involved with the club for 10 years and have worked on this pitch for eight years, and I’ve had so much toil with it.

“It has always had a problem with the amount of water it holds, and we’ve done a multitude of things ourselves over the years to try and get through the seasons.

“I’m absolutely delighted it is finally getting proper drainage installed to hopefully give us one of the best pitches in the league.”