Groundstaff admit their frustration with weather

ShaY groundsman Graham Osbourne admitted his frustration after last night’s game between Halifax Town and Nuneaton was postponed.

Officials pulled the plug on the game after an early afternoon inspection of the pitch which remained frozen in places despite above zero temperatures.

It was the third time in 11 days the Shaymen had seen a home game postponed due to the weather.

And it spelled more woe for the groundstaff who had worked so hard on Monday in a bid to get the game - originally called off at the weekend - played.

“It can be very stressful,” said Osbourne. “When it is like this you spend all day watching the weather forecasts, coming back to the ground then going home again.

“On top of that you get that many phone calls asking whether you think it is going to be on or off.

“It really can take over your life.”

It will be no surprise to Shay regulars that the problem area was directly in front of the South Stand.

That area of the pitch has seen little or no sun since the stand was built and the roof was put on.

“Three-quarters of the pitch was just about playable,” said Osbourne. “And the sun was just coming out when the inspection was being held.

“But the area in front of the South Stand was still frozen on Monday and the temperature at the time was seven degrees.”

No new date for the Nuneaton game has yet been announced although neither side has a game next Tuesday.

Town’s game was not the only one in Blue Square Bet North to fall to the weather.

Hinckley United against Solihull Moors, Droylsden at home to Corby and Stalybridge versus Bishop’s Stortford were also called off.

The Shaymen’s next scheduled action is at the weekend when they travel to Colwyn Bay whose game against Boston United on the north Wales Coast last night survived the big freeze.

And the home side will have been delighted that they got the game on as they came from behind to win 3-2 to move up to seventh in the table, four points from the play-offs.

Shay Stadium Community Football are offering local coaches the chance to get the first stage of their coaching badge by completing their Level One football qualification.

The course is at The Shay from Monday March 19 to Friday March 23.

Lee Ashforth, who is Senior Football Development officer, said: “It is important to us that we offer the chance for local coaches involved in local clubs or schools the opportunity to develop themselves on the correct path in line with FA regulations.”

Places are limited so if anyone is interested in attending and requires further information they should contact Lee on 07834421064 or e-mail lee.ashforth@shaystadiumcommunityfootball.co.uk.