There are unsung heroes for every sports club at a recreational level. From the chairman, to the tea lady, the secretary and the groundsman; everyone gives up their free time to help their local team and all because they like to see their team succeed.

Success can come in various guises. Trophies can be won, players can be picked for representative honours and the name of the team can be lit up in lights but unless you get a little bit of luck, the chances are the team will not hit the heights that have been wished for.

One element for luck has to be the weather. While it is common for cricket matches in the UK to fall foul of the rain, it is less common for rain to stop play on the rugby and football fields yet with the entire Swalec championship being postponed over the weekend not to mention football games being called off in recent weeks, it is no exaggeration to say the tide is changing in that respect.

No club at a local level can ever beat the weather especially with the extreme cases of rain we have witnessed in recent months although according to one local expert, clubs can do more to minimise the effect that monsoon like conditions can bring.

With over 20 years of experience, Llwyncelyn-based sports ground contractor Julian Mousley has seen the best and worst of pitches throughout Wales.

As a specialist in ground drainage, what he doesn't know about pitch preparation isn't worth knowing yet he believes a bit of spring cleaning can do wonders.

"What clubs need are groundsmen," he says. "Most clubs have a groundsman, but more men are needed because a lot can be done in the springtime to prepare your pitch and repair any damage that may have been done in the season.

"The pitches today are not maintained enough and all that's needed is for divots to be levelled with a mixture of sand and soil as this will help rid the ground of surface water.

"Surface water can be dealt with quite quickly, but if the ground has poor undedrainage then that means there are underlying issues that have to be corrected and that can cost money."

It can cost over £20,000 for a contractor such as Mr. Mousley to carry out undedrainage work with more extensive operations costing even more. It also calls for huge quantities of materials to be used to ensure the problems are resolved.

Pontyberem Rugby Club have benefited from his expertise, yet over a five year period, he had to work in a 1,000 tonnes of sand to ensure a consistent playing surface and not just any sand will do.

"You can't just go to your local beach and scoop it up from there as the salt content is too high. You either have to dredge it up or use Cardigan sand. I laid a new pitch in Waunarlwydd where we had to work in 1,500 tonnes of sand with soil to ensure the perfect mix before seeding it. A job like that can take a week or more, even with the specialist kit that I've got."

In the past, clubs were able to apply for funding for ground renovations, but in recent years that had dried up as the money was diverted to the Olympics.

With the grand event now over, money is slowly filtering its way back to the grassroots level although clubs with strong junior sections are looked on more favourably.

This in turn has meant more calls coming Julian Mousley's way, although even he's been unable to work as the weather takes its toll.

"I've been pricing up some jobs, but I've not been able to do much work as the grounds are just too wet. Even with the kit I've got, the conditions have to be good or you can't get anything done. In 20 years of working on sports grounds, it's the wettest year I've known."