Oldham Athletic Football Club

The pitch at Sportsdirect.com Park is a Desso Grassmaster, installed over 15 years ago. The Ground is also the 2nd highest ground in England and is prone to very bad weather in the winter months, heavy rain, snow and strong frosts and we have no under soil heating system, just frost covers.

In December 2015 we had a STRI report taken out on the pitch as it had become prone to flooding. We had lost a lot of grass cover and our root system was non-existent. This in turn led to us losing two games to a waterlogged surface, something we had never before experienced. The STRI reported that the first 3-4 inches of the rootzone had a buildup of organic matter and that the playing surface was past its best so it should be replaced. Unfortunately this was just not an option.

I was recommended to Precision Microbes and had a meeting with them in February 2016. They believed they had a system to clean out the soil profile and at the same time provide a stronger root system and prolong the life of the pitch. Much to my skepticism, I agreed to go ahead with the trial of EcoStrong and EcoGrow.

In April the pitch received its first treatment of EcoStrong to get the base layer cleaned up, before progressing to the EcoGrow. The product was applied through our Dosatron System and using a tractor mounted injection system.

I have been taking moisture readings at a depth of 3 and 5 inches and core samples at regular intervals so we can assess progress and adjust the amount of product. Alongside the treatment we have also been verti draining the surface and have a fertilizer program in place.

The renovation process was very unconventional compared to what I have been doing for years, but with Precision Microbes extensive knowledge in this field, I put the pitch in their hands. We are now in August and already we have played five games plus a training session and the pitch is playing really well. I truly believe the products from Precision Microbes have transformed the soil profile. It is much cleaner and we no longer suffer with black layer. The root depth and density we have achieved is mind blowing and there is continual improvement. We have never achieved these kinds of results in the past. The percolation rates have improved. We recently had nearly 3in of rain in four days and there was no standing water on the pitch. Our next hurdle is getting the pitch through an Oldham winter but with the advice of Precision Microbes, I’m confident we have transformed the soil profile giving us a good base to get through the harsh winter months.

The club and I cannot thank Precision Microbes enough for their help, support and dedication to turn the pitch around. I look forward to what I now believe will be a long lasting working relationship. I would recommend these products to anyone after the results we have achieved.

Lee Williams, Grounds Manager for Oldham Athletic AFC since 2010