Player injury management and the impact of the pitch at Manchester City FC
During last year's Pitch Management workshop, Lee Jackson, Head Groundsman at Manchester City FC shared his insights related to player injury management and the typical injuries sustained depending on the pitch conditions.
He explained that he and his team provide Management with a stadium pitch report on a match by match basis. Including insights into grass cover, the height of the cut and surface hardness measurements. The data is gathered from the stadium pitch on matchday, with a similar report from the training ground being sent over on a weekly basis. Furthermore, both the stadium and training ground pitches are tested every 3 months, measuring 20 different parameters, including agronomic and surface playing characteristics.
Pitch related injuries
Some of the ‘typical’ injuries caused by different playing conditions include:
- Hard pitches: leading to possible complaints of tendons and joints
- Soft pitches: leading to possible complaints of groin and ligaments
- Wet pitches: leading to possible complaints of calf and muscles
- Dry pitches: leading to possible complaints of groin and ligaments
Monitoring pitches and collecting data, not only allows grounds teams to adapt or adjust certain procedures, but also enables them to show consistency and the values of the pitch to the sports departments.
How to adjust the pitch to the player’s needs?
- Hard pitches: in order to improve the softness of the pitch, aeration plays a vital role. Extra watering can decrease the hardness of the pitch
- Soft pitches: extra rolling and/or mowing with the right machine varying spacing’s and depths and when conditions allow it, reduced aeration
- Wet pitches: weather management, covering the pitch and augmented aeration
- Dry pitches: increased watering and looking at improving infrastructure
Player injury management is one of the topics discussed in our 2017 Pitch Management case study. Log in to the ESSMA Knowledge Platform to access the complete case study.