AS a former A-League midfielder who played on fields around the country, Kasey Wehrman knows it's difficult to keep football surfaces in tip-top condition.
Having played and coached on the North Ipswich Reserve with the Western Pride team this season, he understands the challenges better than most.
Wehrman yesterday defended the Ipswich playing surface that was offered for Saturday's A-League pre-season game between Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory.
"It's tough for the guys out there to get the field perfect after the IRL (Ipswich Rugby League) finals the week before and Premier League (National Premier League) leading up to that game as well," Wehrman said.
"From the amount of stuff that went on it, I thought they did a great job."
Wehrman played more than 140 national league games for Brisbane Strikers, Perth Glory and the Newcastle Jets. He said he'd seen plenty of fields which could have been better in that time.
On Victory coach Ange Postecoglou's criticism of the Reserve, Wehrman said he is someone always looking for perfection.
"The middle section was a little bit torn up," Wehrman said. "But the outside areas you could see the potential in why it has been so good. It was just a bit bumpy, that's all."
Before the IRL grand finals, Western Pride played a number of National Premier League games on the North Ipswich Reserve field.
"It was really good," Wehrman said of the surface his Western Pride team got to play on.
"We know that the field can be in tip-top shape.
"You play on any field three or four weeks in a row then it's not going to be easy to keep it in good nick, especially when they are playing rugby league as well."
Wehrman said venues like Suncorp Stadium had more resources to be maintained and the grass gets changed twice a year.
"We don't have those kind of resources," he said.
"We did a fair job on it and the boys can be proud of the field.
"It's a first-year field so it's going to get another covering I'm sure at the end of this season and it will come up even better next season."
Wehrman sat on the Brisbane Roar bench in Saturday's game.
He said Roar deserved to win 1-0, having dominated the right areas in the pre-season match.
"They probably didn't finish off as well as we would have liked but with the amount of possession and the things we created, I thought Melbourne didn't really have a lot of answers for it.
"I think the Roar were far away the better team on the day."
With the Roar roadshow leaving Ipswich for another year, the focus turns to tomorrow's game against Western Pride in Toowoomba.
Wehrman has 12 of his regular NPL players available for the game with captain Niall McCarthy missing the trip due to work.
The Roar team is expected to include some exciting youth players.