On Monday 7th October 2013 Myerscough College were delighted to attend a technical workshop/visit to Premier League Newcastle United.
The day involved a tour and visit to both St James's Park and also the first-team training complex.
The day was arranged by Work-based Tutor Vinnie Price and was open to employers and Myerscough learners from the north east.
Attendees included Jack Hetherington & Craig Kilgour (Ponteland Golf Club) Jack Friar (Percy Wood Golf Club) Scott & Robbie (Whitley Bay Golf Club) Stuart & Dan (Dunstanburgh Golf Club).
It was an opportunity to share ideas and look at the working practices and professions of football - Groundsmanship, as opposed to those of golf- Greenkeeping.
Initially, the party was escorted around St James's Park, given exclusive access to the pitch where all present were free to ask questions and discuss the maintenance of the superb playing surface, especially with regard to the specific difficulties of maintaining such high quality surfaces throughout the winter months.
The host at the stadium was Andrew Tully, Deputy Head Groundsman. Andrew clearly demonstrated in depth technical knowledge on all aspects of the pitch maintenance.
Andrew Tully - Deputy Head Groundsman explains the use of light towers to the group
Myerscough College Employer Services Manager - Lee Price with Work-based Tutor - Vinnie Price
The group with Workbased Tutor - Vinnie Price.
In the afternoon the group then h eaded off to the impressive first-team training complex where we were escorted around the facilities by Head Groundsman - Mick Curran.
The facility sits in the area of Benton on the east of the city, a mile from the Tyne Tunnel. With four main pitches, one indoor artificial pitch and the main building block, the training area stretches down for several hectares to the club's ever-improving academy next door.
Mick gave the group a detailed account of the daily regime and working patterns at the complex and how everything is tailored and scheduled to the training needs of the team.
It was clear that Mick had great passion for his role and his technical knowledge seemed without bounds.
The group were treated to in-depth explanations and demonstrations of the pitches' structures and were also given the opportunity to see and discuss core samples taken during the visit.
There were also many discussions around diseases, feeding, treatments and turf agronomy.
Head Groundsman Mick Curran explains the findings from a core sample to the group.
The day drew to a close after a tour of the entire a complex and opportunities for the group to ask Mick many technical questions about turf agronomy.
Work-Based Tutor, Vinnie Price, said; "We are delighted that Mick and the team at Newcastle United have allowed us this opportunity to bring in some other north-east sports turf managers and learners, and to share some of the best practices which are clearly on display here at Newcastle United.
The feedback from the group was extremely positive. For those who attended, it provided a chance to take a way and digest the technical knowledge given and maybe compare the differences between the management of the two totally different sports-turf environments of golf and football".
Mr Craig Kilgour and Jack Hetherington (Ponteland Golf Club)
Mr Craig Kilgour of Ponteland Golf Club said; "The time given by Mick Curran and Andy Tully, the Newcastle United Football Club ground-staff, was greatly appreciated.
The day was extremely informative and a great way for me as a golf Greenkeeper, to gain an insight in to Premier League standard football grounds maintenance. The technical information given regarding pitch construction, materials and seasonal management, was of a very high standard indeed. Please pass on our thanks to Mick and Andrew".
Newcastle United FC has engaged with the college to deliver Level 3 Advanced Diplomas in Sportsturf to three of their ground-staff, Christopher Coleby, Connor McEwan and Mark Cooper, who are all working under the direction of Mick Curran - Head Groundsman at the club's training complex.
The diploma training is delivered in the workplace via the local Work-Based Tutor, Vincent Price (Vinnie). He said: "I am thrilled to be delivering the training at Newcastle United FC.
The club are clearly taking the training and development of their staff very seriously and the requirement for the supervisors to be kept constantly updated on learner progress and standards is fantastic and very professionally done.
Working in conjunction with the supervisors in such a professional set-up, is ensuring that Christopher, Connor and Mark will receive the best training experience possible".
Mick Curran, Head G roundsman, Newcastle United FC said: "It was clear straight away after speaking to Myerscough College, that the training they deliver is of the highest standard.
The workbased delivery model is great as the learners' time away from the job is kept to a minimum.
I am also really pleased to be directly involved in developing the training plan with Vinnie, and I know Christopher, Connor and Mark will develop in terms of knowledge and work competence from completing this qualification with Myerscough College."
For information on any of our work-based training courses please contact the Employer Services Team on 01995 642255 or email firstname.lastname@example.org