0 Campey provide the machines for Trubshaw Cross Ladsandads to self-manage marked improvements to their pitches

Trubshaw FC (3)Campey Turf Care Systems has provided Trubshaw Cross Ladsandads with a number of turf care machines after they took over maintenance of their pitches from the local council.

Despite their being a timeframe of two-years in place for the football hub to take over the maintenance from Stoke-On-Trent City council, chairman Andy Salt was only given two weeks' notice that they would be handing over control.

Andy and his team of volunteers didn't allow that to hold them back, and 12-months on he speaks with pride at the quality surfaces they are now able to produce, and the benefits regular games brings to the teams and the club financially.

After attending a Campey pitch improvement event at Stafford Rangers, Andy became aware that a budget of £500 for 11 pitches wouldn't be enough. He and the club set about raising money for the new equipment whilst involving FA pitch mentor Andy Jackson - head groundsman at Stoke City FC

At this point Campey had been recommended on a number of occasions to Andy, who in order to get a new tractor, Imants ShockWave 155, Sisis Twin Play, Dragmat, Raycam Sportsfield and later a Trimax roller mower Trubshaw Cross took a different approach.

"Andy Jackson suggested we spoke with Richard Campey of Campey Turf Care Systems, and we'd had other clubs recommend them to us as well, so we decided to approach them. Richard came out and had a good look around the site and at the pitch, and from there we went on to buy the machinery.

"Even having the equipment for half of the last season made such a difference. We didn't have games called off due to weather as many times as the other centres in our area, and we've been able to reduce that even more.

"We've seen an absolutely massive difference in the pitches."

The 11 pitch site, based in Burslem, is one of nine Ladsandads branches that provide a place for youngsters to play football. Six different clubs in North Staffordshire consisting of 39 teams regard Trubshaw Cross as home, as well as the pitches being hired out to other teams, and such extensive use means high-quality pitches were needed to accommodate the matches.

Rather than going down the popular Sport England grant route - instead wanting to save such funding for building improvements - the club opted to host a tournament, with the proceeds used to invest in the café, which has now generated the income to purchase all of the machines.

In the 12-months since they took over Trubshaw Cross have gone from having a "cheap second-hand ride-on lawn mower" to a full range of purpose bought machinery, with their needs specifically in mind.

A team of five volunteers - including Andy - operate the machines and were given full training to help them utilise what they had bought, culminating in the pitches the teams now play on.

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Contact Kerry Haywood

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