Anthony Facey (YBD vice chair)
Questions and Answers
In all honesty I kind of fell into it by accident. I love sport and started volunteering at my local cricket club (Witham CC) at the age of 15 simply because I wanted to drive the tractor. Unfortunately, two years later the two stalwarts of the club who also looked after the ground, Barrie Keeble and John Wilson, passed in quick succession. This left me and my twin brother Stuart to run all aspects of the ground, which I thoroughly enjoyed and pushed me towards a career in groundsmanship.
After volunteering at Witham and Essex CCC I set about looking for a local groundsman job. In addition, following a brief spell of grounds maintenance for the MOD, I landed a job at Felsted School. Three years later and I was ready for a new challenge, which Whitgift offered. I spent just over a year at Whitgift and thoroughly enjoyed working under Dan Ratling. An opportunity at Spurs came about and after seeing the standards they work at I felt I had to see if I could manage in their environment.
NVQ level 2 and 3, PA1, PA2, PA6, IOG foundation and intermediate course on cricket pitch preparation, St Johns first aid at work,and manual handling.
A chainsaw and a telescopic handler certification are on my list for the near future. Also, after some great plant and soil science chats with Dan and some of the guys at Spurs, a degree of some sort within the next year or two.
Working at Tottenham Hotspur involves a wide range of day-to-day jobs. The training centre has various surfaces designed to different specifications including Desso, Fibresand, Rootzone and two 3G pitches, one being covered. There is a total of 15 pitches spread across the site and to some peoples surprise two golf greens. These all must be kept in first class condition.
Mother nature and keeping all my work to a very high standard.
The fact we are setting a stage for world class and future world-class sportspeople to train, play and improve themselves to become better.
Being nominated for the IOG 2015 Young Groundsman of the Year Award. Contributing to Whitgift’s 2015 Independent School/University Grounds Team of the Year. Also, Tottenham’s 2016 Football Grounds Team of the Year Award.
I would hopefully like to be a head groundsman at a school, or deputy head groundsman at a big sporting venue.
I always admire how Barrie and John managed at the cricket club, which I imagine is how every other volunteer is surviving. Additionally, Stuart Kerrison at Essex CCC as he has taught me a lot and has a very good ethos for young groundsman starting out. I also admire every boss and team I’ve worked with along the way, including the spur lads I work with now. They are so different and bring something else to the table for me to take on board which I am so grateful for.
I enjoy promoting our industry to young people; we are a great industry and surely are the next best thing from playing sport professionally. I also enjoy exchanging information and experiences with other groundsman and feeding back to the IOG. I think this is so important as without people’s opinions we wouldn’t be able to improve.
I still play cricket and volunteer at Witham CC. I also help out during the T20 matches at Essex CCC. I like to socialize with friends, play pool and golf.