The pitch at Leicester City's impressive King Power stadium exceeded Premiership standards all last season with Head Groundsman John Ledwidge saying his relationship with key supplier Everris, part of the ICL Group, as being a major factor
John's dream was to one day become a Premier League head groundsman and his journey began at 16 years old when he embarked on an apprenticeship for his beloved Coventry City. After working his way up to deputy head groundsman, an opportunity to work at Aston Villa arose and John seized it. He continued to master his craft at Villa before eventually returning to Coventry as head groundsman. In 2012 he picked up Young Turf Professional of the Year Award before being appointed head groundsman at Leicester City two years later. In the season that John took the top seat at Leicester, the club was promoted to the Premier League and his dream came true.
With an already impressive career to date there is a feeling that even more highs are on the horizon for this young groundsman. John's achievements speak for themselves and as a rising star in the world of groundsmanship he knows that the best results are only obtained by applying the finest products.
"Everris products have been an integral part of my career. From the first minute I walked through the door at Coventry City; they were using Everris products. It stuck with me ever since as a brand that provides quality and assurance that what you are putting on is 100% going to work.
"We have been extremely happy with how the pitch has performed and that is down to the fact that we have been working to a very strict and tailored nutritional programme from Everris. It is completely personalised to our needs."
As part of his programme, John uses Sierrablen products as a base feed every eight weeks and Greenmaster, either a 12-0-12 or a 7-0-14, every two weeks at half rate. As indispensable elements of John's programme, it is easy to see why he and so many other Premier League groundsmen are so fond of these two products.
Packed with Everris' exclusive controlled release coating technologies, Sierrablen products have been designed to meet the grass plant's specific requirements. This controlled release technology prevents the leaching of the nutrients and guarantees a longer lasting effect with no excessive flushes of soft-growth. The high-quality controlled release fertiliser also saves time and money, as one simple application can provide nutrition for up to nine months.
Everris' Greenmaster fertiliser range, well known for its delivery of high-quality fine turf nutrition has been trusted by turf managers for decades and John is particularly impressed with its rapid action.
"We specifically use Greenmaster for its granular evenness and the way it's taken up by the plant in such quick form. It really does help us get the best results.
"We try and keep the nutrition levels consistent throughout the year and we really think that these products help deliver not only the nutrition that the plant needs but also that aesthetic greenness that is expected of the Premier League as well as the standards that are expected from the players and the staff. The Everris products really help us deliver that on a consistent basis throughout the season," said John.
To help John ensure that the programme continues to deliver consistent results, he has the assistance and support of technical area sales manager Lewis Blois; a service which he believes enhances the overall package from Everris.
"Lewis will frequently visit us along with our supplier Pitchworks UK and they will provide us with the back-up service that we need in terms of nutritional programmes, soil reports and everything else that we need to keep the nutrition going in the pitch.
"Lewis is very professional and the advice that he gives us is second to none in my opinion. The strength of our relationship is shown by the amount of Everris products we use both here and at the training ground. For the products and services that Everris supply I wouldn't think twice about recommending them to any groundsman in the country."
ICL/ Everris products are available to purchase from the Pitchcare Store.