With the football re-start requiring an extension into unusual territory compared to a normal football season, Karl’s advice was invaluable and discussions will be taking place to provide webinars and workshops to all grounds volunteers once restrictions allow. These will follow on from workshops that have been delivered across Bedfordshire previously that are linked to the celebration of the Groundsman of the Year Awards and expert advice from the Grounds Management Association via Regional Pitch Advisors.
Karl spent time at the sites where Michael Harding (Sharnbrook FC), Owen Younger (Crawley Green Youth) and Tony Holmes (Caddington Sports and Social Club) all work extremely hard to provide the best quality pitches they can for the football teams that play fixtures on them.
The visits were warmly welcomed as a reward and thank you for the time, effort and engagement all three individuals have put in to overcome their unique obstacles at their respective sites. The benefit to the grounds volunteers being in their own environment were obvious as support could be tailored to provide bespoke advice to their specific pitch conditions. It also offered the opportunity to discuss the machinery and equipment being used to give insightful detail linked to when specific procedures should be applied in relation to the typical football season.
The timing was also perfect as the Football Foundation have recently announced the ‘Grass Pitch Maintenance Fund’ and each of the 3 sites have been supportive of the initiatives that involves use of the PitchPower assessment tool or being one of the original grant recipients last season. This involved the best way to enhance any additional funding on top of annual budgets available to achieve the greatest impact with limited resources.
More information can be found on the Grass Pitch Maintenance Fund here: https://footballfoundation.org.uk/grass-pitch-improvement
To learn more about maintaining grass pitches, join the Football Foundation Groundskeeping Community here: https://footballfoundation.hivelearning.com/join
We would like to thank Karl and The FA for providing this opportunity and we look forward to other events for the groundskeeping community in the future!