0 Amazed and impressed

This industry never ceases to amaze me, which is probably why I enjoy working in it so much.

When our latest magazine is sent to me for a pre-print check, I always have a quick flick through the PDF to make sure that the editorial team have supplied yet another cracker - they don't usually let me down, and this issue is no exception!

The first thing that caught my eye (apart from the photograph on page 18!) was what an innovative and forward thinking bunch we are.

It's fair to say that the weather over the past twelve months will have tested the resolve of every greenkeeper and groundsman in the land, with rain, floods, snow, freezing temperatures and a delayed spring causing a host of problems for both winter and summer sports surfaces.

So, I was mightily impressed to read about the work Keith Exton has been doing at the SWALEC Stadium to provide the professional cricketers of Glamorgan with pre-season outdoor nets and get tracks ready for the start of this year's campaign; heaters, blowers and marquees are not the normal tools to be found in a groundsman's shed. I certainly hope the ECB respond to his call for discussion.

And then there's young greenkeeper Luke Cassidy (that photo again), who has travelled the world to hone his greenkeeping skills and has come to be currently working in Sweden via positions in France, America and the Bahamas.

Lifelong Stockport County fan, Liam Cash has, at the age of twenty-three, landed the head groundsman's job at the 'Hatters', after starting there as a teenager before honing his skills working with the guys at Villa and Man City. The tenacity of these youngsters is impressive.

I was also particularly interested to read the second part of how a Ransomes Jacobsen mower is brought to market; some of the design and manufacturing processes I had never even considered, even when sat on top of one of their machines!

Of course, the weather has been the dominating factor, and there will be genuine concern for many grassroots cricket and bowls clubs should we experience another difficult summer.

Equally, the winter sports surfaces will require some serious renovations this summer if they are to 'come back' in time for next season. Let's hope they are given the budgets required, otherwise the call for artificial surfaces will, unfairly, grow louder. At half-a-million pounds to install and an annual maintenance budget of £18,000, if the money is there, why on earth won't owners spend it on the upkeep of natural grass?

With another packed summer of sport, including The Open at Muirfield (our cover story), Test series against New Zealand and Australia, the ICC Champions Trophy and, of course, Wimbledon fortnight, let's hope that Mother Nature plays ball, so we can too.

Enjoy the read.

Dave Saltman

Editorial Enquiries Editorial Enquiries

Contact Kerry Haywood

07973 394037

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