"Our award-winning pitch is all thanks to our Kubota ride-on mower" - that's the message from Glenn Bellis, manager of Harefield United Football Club's first team.
The Middlesex-based club purchased a Kubota G21 ride-on mower with a GC Pro 48 Cutting Deck in 2009 and quickly scooped the title of Best Pitch in the Spartan Premier Division before going on to win the Steps 5 and 6 National Award category in the FA's 2010 Groundsman of the Year Awards.
The accolades came after the club's committee took the bold decision of cancelling the existing groundcare contract in order to maintain the two pitches for themselves. With this in mind, each committee member personally contributed to the cost of buying the G21 ride-on mower.
The G21 was chosen because of its 21 hp Kubota engine and tight turning circle, which when combined with its light weight means, it can mow both pitches quickly and efficiently without marking the turf. What's more, the G21 incorporates Kubota's revolutionary Glide Cut system, which both cuts and channels cut grass into an integrated rear catcher in one operation helping to increase efficiency.
The club now uses the G21 to mow the pitches up to three times a week during the football season. This is complemented by regular spiking, matting and rolling to maintain a pitch-perfect finish.
To win the FA's Groundsman of the Year Award, Harefield United needed to impress the judges with the quality of the pitch and their knowledge of groundsmanship. Consideration was also given to the resources available, how often the pitch is used and the amount of time they are able to work on the pitch. Harefield United beat off five other teams to scoop the national prize.
Glenn said that everyone at the club is absolutely delighted to have won the two awards. "To be honest, we weren't happy with our pitch, so we decided to buy the Kubota and maintain it ourselves. Our aim was to improve pitch quality so our teams could enjoy better facilities and game play - we never dreamed that we'd go on to win two awards within two years of deciding to maintain it for ourselves.
"Having such a good pitch has helped us to attract high-calibre players and visiting teams always comment on how good it is - I always tell them it's down to our secret weapon, the Kubota G21!
"It is a reliable machine, extremely easy to use and helps us to get the job done quickly. What's more, its diesel, so it's economical to run too. I'd definitely recommend Kubota to any club that wants a professional pitch - it was great investment."
Kubota provides a market-leading range of tractors and ride-on mowers, together with its class-leading RTV900 all-terrain utility vehicle and is the global leader in the sub 50hp tractor sector.
The company's machines have a legendary reputation for quality, performance, reliability, ease of operation and outstanding value-for-money and a national network of Kubota tractor and groundcare dealers, provide the highest standards of advice and after-sales service.
For more information about Kubota's market leading compact tractors, ride-on mowers, and their class-leading RTV900 all-terrain utility vehicle, together with details of your local dealer, contact Kubota Tractor and Groundcare Division Tel: 0800 023 1111/ROI: 1 800 848 000 Email: email@example.com or visit www.kubota.co.uk.
Image: The Kubota G21 ride-on mower is Harefield United's secret weapon: the club has won a handful of awards after cancelling its external groundcare contract, buying the G21 and maintaining the pitch itself.