Fratton surface getting a summer facelift
Work has started on improving the Fratton Park surface for the 2014/15 campaign.
The grass is currently being chopped off in order for long-awaited drainage issues to be sorted.
And fans will see a noticeable difference in the pitch when they return for the first home pre-season friendly against Bournemouth on Tuesday, July 29.
The mounds in the goalmouths – a familiar Fratton sight down the years – will be removed to leave a flat playing surface.
Head groundsman Steve Baker explained: “First we have to take the grass off the top and rotovate the pitch.
“Then we’ll put a machine called a laser grader on the back of the tractors, which means we’ll be able to level off the pitch. The traditional humps in the goalmouths will be no more.
“We’ll have a nice flat pitch, as well as new drainage and pop-up sprinklers, so we won’t have to keep dragging out hoses.
“In a couple of weeks it should be seeded, so we can be ready for the Bournemouth match.”
Baker has welcomed the investment in a Pompey pitch that has been neglected in recent years.
He said: “A lot of people have commented – and I agree with them – that this is work that should have happened when the club was in the Premier League.
“We’ve had more work done since the community takeover than in the whole two-and-a-half years I’ve been here.
“It makes our job a lot easier because we’ve now got better machinery and will soon have a better pitch.”