0 A day in the life of Tottenham Hotspur groundsman

The man responsible for the White Hart Lane pitch takes the Journal through his match-day routine, and gives an insight into life at Spurs' world class training ground

People have an image of your average groundsman: they think we are the wellington boots flat cap brigade. But there's a lot of science behind what we do.

My role within the club is to look after all playing surfaces, whether we are playing outdoors, indoors or on the synthetic pitch, at the training centre or the stadium.

We have 20 grass pitches at the training centre. All the pitches needed a fair investment in their construction. It is great that the club can see the importance of what we play on as one of the key things. That investment has been huge.

It is not just about cutting grass, you need to have a dedication, an interest in the weather, working outside and soil science. What do you need to grow grass? You need water, feed, oxygen and light. Understanding the biology is important.

We work hard here to promote what we do. It's about getting into schools when kids are at that age when they are deciding what to do. We encourage them to take biology and look at the science behind the grass and photosynthesis.

I have been here since 1996. When I joined the company there was a ground staff team of three. We now have 27. We have gone from low-end at Chigwell, where we only had three grass pitches, to having a training centre which is world-class. Some say it is the best in the world. It is well designed and well thought out.

The busiest day at the training centre is the Monday, that's an organisation day for us. I have effectively four or five senior guys: one in the stadium, one with the first team, one with the academy, one with the schoolboys and a head gardener.

We'll sit down to see what we have coming up in the week, and a look back at the past week to see if there have been any hiccups. Everything is set out for the forthcoming week.

The busiest day in the stadium is the match-day. The boys are in at 7.30. First thing is to take out the light rigs, used for growing grass in adverse light conditions.

These have ultra-violet blubs which substitute the sun, so we can grow grass in winter. Most Premier League clubs have them now, which is why the standard of pitches has gone up over the years.

The pitch is then double cut in the morning, before being marked out. The goals and safety nets then go up. That's an early start but it all flows well.

You need to look carefully at the weather forecast; sometimes we will prepare the pitch the day before. That is the key, if you get bad weather from kick-off onwards it's not a problem. But bad weather from 7am through until 11am is our window when it is a problem.

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Article sourced from Tottenham Journal

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