Tuesday 25th May 2010 @ Coach Road, Newton Abbot
Devon FA in conjunction with Rigby Taylor has just staged a “Helpful hints on pitch maintenance” seminar at Coach Road, Newton Abbot which was attended by 44 grounds men and women from all over Devon ranging from Tavistock all the way up to Bideford
The evening started with Paul Morrison (Chief Executive of the Devon FA) and Steve Hall of Rigby Taylor welcoming everybody to the seminar and explaining the agenda for the evening.
This was then followed by three outside demonstrations on the Coach Road pitch (which itself is currently undergoing major drainage work to be completed in time for the forthcoming season). The first demonstration was by Clive Ralph of Masons Machinery. Clive’s demonstration was based around machinery the grounds men use and what machinery was available to get the best out of your pitch on an affordable budget for your club.
The second demonstration was provided by Dale Gleed and this was to do with Air injection, now this involves a machine with compressed air that drills a spear deep into the playing surface and then uses the compresses air to aereate the roots underneath by breaking up the compressed soil around the roots in turn allowing the root of the grass to then breath and make for a better growth.
The third and final demonstration was hosted by Pete Bridgwater of Rigby Taylor, Pete’s demonstration was on Line marking and concentrated on the types on line marker now used and when best to paint the lines prior to playing a match, Pete also provided a demonstration using an automatic spray line machine.
Everybody then broke for a buffet meal and drinks for half an hour whilst basking in the hot evening sun and also taking the opportunity to all mingle and have a good chat where the main topic of conversation was how everyone coped with the extreme winter we have just had and how they was hopefully going to be taking away from tonight’s event, how to try and prevent calling off a pitch by good maintenance throughout the season.
The evening then resumed with four inside presentations, the first being Pete Bridgman again on line marking and the benefits of using the right marker.
This was followed by Kevin Duffill of The Institute of Groundmanship, Kevin had travelled down from Milton Keynes for tonight’s event and Kevin delivered an excellent presentation on what the IOG can do even for the amateur volunteer grounsman and explained all about the very affordable IOG yearly membership that they offer, these offers can be found on their website www.iog.org
Third up was Tim Wakeham of Rigby Taylor whose presentation was on Pitch Maintenance and Tim’s presentation ranged from what length grass should be cut at, the best type of grass seed to use and the essential need of replacing divot’s as soon as a game has finished. Tim is the local representative of Rigby Taylor for our area and he can be easily contacted to come and provide advice specifically on your pitch and taylor a programme to your needs to get the best from your pitch on a budget that suits your club.
Finally on was Colin Wheatcroft who is the head groundsman of Plymouth Argyle FC and Colin’s presentation was on Match Day Tips. Colin’s main tips was on knowing the weather report, making sure you got your lines down in time for a game and also what he does from start to finish on a matchday and the battles a groundsman faces from the team manger in the use of the pitch and allowing the players to train on the pitch. Colin was a thoroughly entertaining man and the audience could have listened to him all night as he had us all captivated
There then followed a question and answer session.
To round the evening off nicely, the IOG gave away a free years membership to one lucky groundsman and Rigby Taylor gave away three free portable DVD players.
The night was a huge success and the feedback received from all who attended was all positive,
The Devon FA are looking to host similar events in the future and are welcoming ideas and suggestions on any other areas of pitch maintenance that you would like to see covered in a future event. Please submit your ideas and suggestions to Annie Watts at Devon County FA, Coach Road, Newton Abbot, Devon, TQ12 1EJ, email to email@example.com, or fax to 01626 336814.