Whilst the season may have finished, keeping Fylde’s pitch up to it’s football league standard never stops for club groundsman Daniel Bunce.

Preparation to get the playing surface at the Coasters’ home is well underway after beginning at the start of May straight after Fylde had wrapped up the National League North title.

Bunce, who has been with the Coasters since 2013, gave us an insight of just how much work goes into keeping the Mill Farm surface pitch perfect.

“Firstly, we take off the first 2.5cm of the old pitch which is dead matter. That’s all the stuff that has built up over the season like little bits of grass cuttings and any little bits and pieces that have gone in and become compacted together. That then stops rain being able to penetrate through.

“Along with that, you get a lot of weed cuttings. You might have some of these at home where it’s almost trying to seed itself. They’re very low rooting so they’re not good for the grass that we have. When a tackle goes in, it will pull all the grass out and it won’t have the clean look that the rest of the pitch usually does.

“The next process was to aerate it all which is done using forty or fifty forks on the back of a tractor just stabbing into the pitch to ease the compaction. That makes it a lot easier for the new seed to grow in to.

“After that, we put on 240 tonnes of Rootzone which is a mix of 20% sand and 80% soil. It will have a lot of nutrients for the new seed to take on in the next couple of days. Unfortunately, we were a couple of days behind with seeding due to the wet weather we had. The grass is around 23 days old today and it’s looking pretty well for what we’ve done up to now.

Fylde are working with Danvic Turf Care to ensure that the pitch is of the best quality ahead of the new season which begins on the 5th August.

Danvic also work with several football league clubs including Middlesbrough and League One champions Sheffield United.

“Danvic always do a decent job and they’re only down the road in Broughton so it’s easy to get them in if we have any problems. They’re the main contracter for that kind of work in this area.

“They’re also working on Darlington’s pitch at the moment in the National League North. They do quite a few so it’s a busy time of the year for them at the moment.

“Fortunately enough there aren’t any areas of the pitch in particular that are difficult to work with. It’s a completely new canvas so we’re starting all over again basically.”

The pitch at Mill Farm has seen plenty of drama over the past twelve months and perhaps never more so than when Matt Blinkhorn famously headed in Fylde’s stoppage time equaliser against promotion rivals Kidderminster.

Blinkhorn’s goal led to incredible celebrations from all of the Fylde squad and coaching staff on the pitch but Bunce admitted he was prepared to forgive the players – on this occasion.

“I don’t mind a bit of damage when it’s a 97th minute equaliser but any other time, I’ll have to try to ban them. I might have to bring out fines for players that slide in the future.”