All change on the pitch

With the players away and all of the summer pitch events at the Boleyn Ground completed, the West Ham United groundstaff have been hard at work this week preparing the playing surface for the first home game of the 2009/10 season.

Head groundsman Dougie Robertson and his team have joined forces with a specialist company to get the annual reseeding underway. After working 12-hour shifts for the past four days, Dougie is pleased with how the operation has gone so far.

"We raked all of the existing cover over, taking it back to clean sand. Then we relevelled, added more sand and reseeded."

Such is the speed of the operation, the groundstaff and hope to give the fledging pitch its first cut in just ten days time.

"We have been seeding and fertilising so the contractors were finished on Thursday night when we took over. We will be continuing to water it right through and hopefully we'll be cutting the pitch in ten days' time. As the seeds starts to chit, you roll it and that increases the growth.

"The pitch will be perfect in time for the first home game."