Millwall pitches getting hefty investment from Lions board

© Edmund Boyden
© Edmund Boyden

MILLWALL are investing heavily in the pitches at The Den and the club's training ground ahead of the new season.

Head groundsman Dave Bradbury-Shaw has been given around £200,000 to spend to ensure the Lions' playing surfaces are better than ever before.

Much of the bill will be footed by director Trevor Keyse, who has taken a keen interest in maintenance issues during his seven years at the club.



Keyse has worked closely with Bradbury-Shaw, who has been tending to Millwall’s pitches since 2000, to deliver improvements each year.

"When I first went down to the training ground the state of the pitches was appalling," Keyse said.

"Whether I pay for it or the club does, a budget is now agreed every year and if other bits and pieces need to be done as well, I just get on and do it.



"Two years ago we dug up The Den and put down a new fibre-sand pitch but as the seasons go by, people's expectations of the pitch are going up all the time. Now expectations are very, very high.

"Most Championship clubs have got a minimum of a fibre-sand pitch but the likes of QPR, who we played at the end of the last season, have what's called a Desso pitch and that can cost over £1million to install.

"The quality of our pitch is especially important given the way Ian Holloway wants to play – it's vital we get the best surface we can.

"As a board, we're spending more and more money each year on the pitches but I also have my own ideas about what needs to be done, so I go ahead and help the groundsman however I can."

And Bradbury-Shaw is determined to meet Holloway's expectations for the pitch at The Den.

"At the stadium, http://vhealthportal.com/product-category/pain-relief/ we've had a lot of the existing fibre-sand taken out and replaced at a massive cost," the groundsman said.

"We're using grow-sheets for the first time this year and that stops the birds from pecking the seed. It also ensures you get an even grass coverage. We'll be turning on the lighting rids soon.

"Ollie knows that we won't have a Desso pitch but he's expecting a better surface than last season.

"We've got seven staff at the moment but we're looking at employing an eighth and we're looking at using new fertilisers.

"We're going all-out to see if with the new fibre-sand, extra manpower and new machinery we can make a difference. But a lot depends on the weather!"

Bradbury-Shaw and his team have also been working hard at the training ground, where work is being carried out on all four pitches.

"Pitches one and two were closed before the end of last season with the manager’s blessing," he said.

"The contractors have come in and we're using a soil-sand mix on those pitches and the top soil has been removed to freshen it all up.

"When the team comes back for pre-season, the pitches will be ready.

"Pitch three was our worst pitch because it hasn't been level, but Trevor has invested yet again and we've had it levelled and it will be flatter than it has been. That cost a fortune."

Keyse plans to maintain his investment in the club's pitches and will start planning for 2015-16 before the end of the year.

"Ollie is striving for better pitches every season," the Lions director added.

"Next year, depending on where we are, we may consider upgrading the pitch again, which would be a fibre-elastic pitch. That would cost a lot of money."

Staff

(@NewsAtDen)

31 thoughts on “Millwall pitches getting hefty investment from Lions board

  • June 6, 2014 at 15:15
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    Should be a great pitch as it had a lot of s..t on it last season lol

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    • June 6, 2014 at 23:45
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      @mfcjon: mfc that is the best one liner i have read in years,so apt.

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  • June 6, 2014 at 15:25
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    Pick me Dave pick me !!!

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  • June 6, 2014 at 15:33
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    Just hope we get two strikers to score on it.

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    • June 6, 2014 at 19:44
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      @foxy,: There called the opposition

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  • June 6, 2014 at 15:44
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    If we become so dependant on playing a style that is heavily reliant on perrfect pitches, how will be perform on a cold winters Tuesday evening game at some crappy away ground. At least our home form should improve.

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    • June 6, 2014 at 16:18
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      @glyngo: we could be at serious risk of losing at Charlton

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    • June 6, 2014 at 17:49
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      @glyngo: Evident at Southend last year in the cup.

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      • June 7, 2014 at 13:56
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        @kempo_123: we will have to be able to adapt our game to the environment. Crappy pitches like the Valley and Rotherham will not be snooker table surfaces.

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  • June 6, 2014 at 16:00
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    I'm glad to see improvements are being made, not to mention I'm buzzing to see what striker(s) we sign. This is gonna be a good season for Millwall. I can feel it in my nutsack.

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    • June 6, 2014 at 18:08
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      @Dazi: hows a 25 year old from halifax town grab ya ?

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  • June 6, 2014 at 16:07
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    Who gives a f*** what the pitch is made of let's just win on it everytime we play at home!

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  • June 6, 2014 at 16:27
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    Read this article, thought "Christ almighty, we need the season to start again."

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  • June 6, 2014 at 16:48
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    Digging deep in both senses of the word 🙂

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  • June 6, 2014 at 17:00
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    Brilliant news just what us fans wanted to hear!!!!
    How about an investment on the playing side of things??

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  • June 6, 2014 at 17:39
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    An article about grass and soil might get a charlton fan aroused but is of no interest to me.I wanna hear about good players signing contracts with millwall,having the best pitch in league one would be nothing to boast about!If there is some spare money to spend on the den use it to retrain some of the stewards and kiosk staff.(moan over)

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  • June 6, 2014 at 17:43
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    Is this what they mean by 'investing in grass roots'......?

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  • June 6, 2014 at 18:10
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    How about investing in a new `screen/score board`.
    The one we have is a disgrace and embarrassment.

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    • June 6, 2014 at 18:26
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      @Longfield Lion: And it is quite ironic above picture shows the screen.A black screen is about as clear as it gets !!!!!!!

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  • June 6, 2014 at 18:16
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    Sorry but half way through reading that article I started slashing my wrists.

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  • June 6, 2014 at 19:38
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    This reminds me of the sad story of my good friend who sits next to me in upper east ,, after our home game just before last Christmas where we got destroyed yet again ,,,,,, to drown our sorrows we went on the lash & wound up in an Indian restaurant in the old Kent road ,,, he had the onion bargies that turned out not to be made from onion but daffodil bulbs ,,,, I ask the doctor what were his chances of pulling through ? & when will he come out . .? Same as MILLWALL next sprig ,,,,,,onwards & upwards ,,,,,,,,C O Y L ....

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  • June 6, 2014 at 19:39
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    Thank you Trevor, no excuses now Ollie!

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  • June 6, 2014 at 19:42
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    Spring ,,,, sorry also s*** joke ,,,,,, C O Y L

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  • June 6, 2014 at 20:54
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    8 people to prepare a pitch?
    Christ.

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    • June 7, 2014 at 10:15
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      @NICKOLA: Is that why we have no new signings ?
      We are signing PITCHMEN instead !!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • June 6, 2014 at 22:21
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    As for the birds..... I've got some seed that needs pecking !! 😉

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  • June 7, 2014 at 18:55
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    I bealive it will make a difference

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  • June 8, 2014 at 01:43
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    Let's grow 2 levels of grass, the top level to play championship winning football , promote quality juniors, entice top level recruits and encourage proud performance week in week out, the bottom level grass as an investment opportunity with different gradings and aromas and potential for sale over the counter in the millwall shop. We may even look to export into the European market and possibly even incorporate into our merchandise range of clothing. "Lion brand, green n mean" hell, there's opportunities at every corner! Anyway, I'm goin out back for a smoke.

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  • June 9, 2014 at 09:39
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    Ollie is waiting for everybody else to buy there players so we end up with all the s**t so they can keep our new grass green

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