Alan Ferguson, head groundsman at Ipswich Town football club, has recently taken delivery of new walk-behind mowers for match day pitch preparation at the Portman Road stadium, from Ransomes Jacobsen, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company.
The new machines are Ransomes Matadors, which feature a 71cm (28") cutting width using specially modified 9-blade cylinders and grooved rollers which provide a superb finish.
The use of Matadors is a departure from the previous Ransomes Mastiffs that Alan and his team have used for many years at Portman Road and the decision was influenced due to their lighter weight.
"We are one of very few first-class pitches constructed from natural soil and soil density can be an issue for us", he said. "The Matadors are around 200Kg lighter, so don't compact the soil nearly as much as the Mastiffs and this means that we don't have to aerate the pitch as often as in the past."
Adam Glancy has been on the Ipswich Town grounds staff for the past 4 years and has recently been promoted to Stadium Groundsman. Educated locally at Stowmarket High School he enjoyed a period of work experience at the Club before being taken on in a permanent role. He attended Otley College and gained NVQ Level 2 in Sports Turf Management and is now working towards Level 3.
"The Matadors are so much lighter, which makes them far easier to turn at the end of each pass. The mechanism for changing the height of cut is much simpler; it's tool-free and takes about half the time to set compared with the Mastiff. We've not had them very long, but they are performing very well," he said.
Commenting on Adam's promotion, Alan Ferguson said, "I recommended Adam for the position and the management readily accepted my proposition. He will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the turf maintenance regime at the stadium and any future awards and accolades will be down to him. This is an excellent and thoroughly deserved opportunity for him. It also demonstrates the Club's commitment to career progression and continuing education for its staff."