THE pitch at The Den will be six metres longer than it was last season as maintenance work continues in preparation for the start of the Sky Bet League One campaign.
Last season, Ian Holloway preferred a tighter playing area in which to implement his game plan.
But after consultation between the ground staff and manager Neil Harris and his assistant Dave Livermore, the decision was reached to increase the pitch length to 106 metres for next season.
Head groundsman Dave Bradbury-Shaw has been planning for the 2015-16 season since January with director Trevor Keyse, who has personally funded much of the maintenance and equipment upgrades in his eight years at the club.
“When this stadium was built the pitch (pictured, above, being reseeded) was based on the old Wembley stadium,” Bradbury-Shaw explained. “It’s a big area, the size of the old Wembley pitch.
“You’re only allowed to change the pitch measurements in the closed season, you can’t change it in the playing season. I gave the manager the options, what’s minimum and maximum.
“When Neil was a player here the pitch used to be 106 metres and then it was reduced. Different managers prefer smaller pitches. When Kenny (Jackett) was the manager he had it 105 metres. We decided to go with 106 metres, three extra each side.
“The club secretary then sends the pitch measurements off to the FA and they can’t be changed until next season.”