Let's face it - maintaining decent pitch standards is a struggle for the country's grassroots football clubs. Limited budgets and a reliance on volunteer groundsmen invariably leaves playing surfaces in a poor state, regardless of the clubs' best efforts.
A Suffolk non-league club has, however, bucked the trend by making an investment in quality Barenbrug grass seed - and has since reaped the benefits of this relatively significant purchase.
Keen to improve the quality of its pitch in time for a major match, Stowmarket Town FC turned to a player's partner for advice. Delwyn Clark works for local turf specialist Spearhead Turf and was asked to recommend something to get the pitch match fit in time for a local legends game against Ipswich just four weeks away.
With turf deemed unsuitable within such a short renovation window, Delwyn recommended Barenbrug's renowned rapid turf repair mixture, BAR 50 SOS. Local landscaper Paul Mumby was drafted in to perform the overseeding and, says Delwyn, the club hasn't looked back.
"Come the legends game, people couldn't believe how much grass cover there was," she reveals. "Previously, there were a lot of bare patches around the goal mouths and in the centre but they'd just disappeared. The pitch also played much better. The seed made a world of difference and we're hoping to use it again next year."
Harnessing a unique annual ryegrass bred by Barenbrug Research for its cool soil germination, quick and superior establishment, and amenity turf characteristics, it's no wonder BAR 50 SOS is favoured by the likes of Manchester City FC and Premier League clubs aplenty. Delwyn says that for a club of Stowmarket Town's size and spending power to invest in such high quality seed simply wouldn't have been possible without the support of the local community.
"Buying the Barenbrug seed was a huge step for Stowmarket Town FC. The investment is definitely making a difference, but, if it weren't for the help of all the volunteers involved and Spearhead's generosity in donating half the seed, we just wouldn't have been able to achieve such great results. As a non-league club, we feel very lucky to be playing on such a high quality pitch."