Groundskeeping at Fylde Rugby Club

The Woodlands has been home of Fylde Rugby Club ever since their creation back in 1919 and since then the ground has hosted some fantastic rugby alongside the Fylde coastline.

In was in 1919 when the club’s founders decided that Fylde would be a rugby club by the toss of a coin. Unable to decide between football and rugby, a coin was tossed and, thankfully, rugby landed as the winner.

Since then both the local area and the club itself have never looked back, as Fylde have maintained their status as one of the North West’s premier rugby clubs for many years.

Currently residing in National 1, the third tier of English rugby, Fylde enjoyed a brilliant season in the league last year, finishing third overall.

However, throughout a long hard season of rucks, scrums and mauls, not to mention the poor standard of north west weather, the Woodlands’ pitches have a great deal to contend with. So what goes into the maintaining of the ground?

In a number of features on groundskpeeing, Talking Rugby Union wanted to explore the other side of the game and bring you an insight into exactly how rugby pitches are kept in such good condition throughout a long and hard season.

The ground at Fylde is cared for by Head Groundsman Patrick Townsend alongside time-to-time help from Gary Andrews.

The club itself now has three pitches, after the original second team pitch was sold ten years ago. However, Fylde’s training pitches are shared with Fleetwood Town Football Club, who maintain two of the three.

Therefore, the dedicated team of Patrick and Gary are able to concentrate on maintaining the first team pitch throughout a long and potentially damaging season.

The sport itself has a number of challenges unlike any other. The nature of rugby can impact a playing surface enormously with large amounts of force concentrated on small, compact areas of a pitch.

Enjoy the feature video above as Gary explains a bit more about his role at the club and then goes into more detail on the challenges groundsman can face whilst maintaining a pitch, both on and off the field.

Keep your eyes on Talking Rugby Union for more groundskeeping features in this series and all of your general rugby news.