Monday 9th November 2020

DUMBARTON FC’s groundsman, Jim Paton, has been welcomed to the job with some hard work recently.

After heavy and surprising rainfall, our home game against Clyde was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch two weeks ago.

That led to a hefty workload to restore the pitch to its usual fine condition, including work on the drainage.

That work remains ongoing, but after the pitch was vertidrained on Friday, October 30, the pitch was of course playable to welcome Clyde for the rearranged game on Tuesday.

Jim joined the club during the close season, having previously spent 45 years as a well-respected greenkeeper at golf courses throughout the country. He also turfed the goalmouths at Boghead Park when the late Dick Jackson was groundsman.

Jim said: “It’s been an enjoyable start to life as groundsman at Dumbarton and everybody at the club has made me feel welcome.

“But it’s fair to say that the last fortnight has presented a bit of a challenge. Despite the best efforts of myself and a team of volunteers, the game with Clyde had to be postponed.

“Since then, I have worked tirelessly to investigate the root cause of the drainage issues, even going back to the original layers to see how it is set underneath.

“Vertidraining last weekend has made a clear and significant difference, although it was too soon to allow the home fixture against Airdrieonians to be played at our stadium.

“We are a lot more confident in the pitch’s condition now, but work continues to make sure there are minimal postponements going forward, especially with winter approaching and a potentially busy December and January for the pitch.

“We could have as many as seven home games in those two months pending Scottish Cup draws. It’s important that the pitch is in good condition and I’ll do my utmost to ensure it stays that way.”

General manager Antonia Love added: “Even allowing for the new dates for the season, having our first home league match postponed was something we didn’t anticipate.

“However, it has now happened and the club has confidence in Jim to ensure that we have a top quality playing surface for the months ahead.

“And of course, the wait to play Clyde at home was worth it when we won last Tuesday.”

The next test for the pitch is tomorrow night when Falkirk visit the C&G Systems Stadium in a Betfred Cup sectional tie.

Andy Galloway

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