Award winning Groundsman Rob Brooks relies on his Dennis Premier mower to get the pitch at Alfreton Town FC in the perfect playing condition required for this progressive club.
Alfreton Town, based near Derby, moved up to the Conference last season after winning the Blue Square Bet North division, and the more intense training programme required at this level has placed extra demands on the pitch at the Impact Arena.
Rob, who was Football Conference Groundsman of the Year for the 2011/12 season has been Groundsman at Alfreton Town for five years and has used Dennis to help achieve year on year pitch improvement. Not one match has been postponed at the ground despite the adverse winter weather.
Rob's association with the Dennis Premier began when he was at Ilkeston Town, his previous club, and the current machine replaced an older Premier which had reached the end of its life.
"The Premier is the ideal mower for us because of its fine quality of cut, yet I can mow this pitch in just 2-3 hours," he explains. Despite the Premier's impressive 910mm (36in) working width, Rob says that it is highly manoeuvrable and comfortable to operate.
"When conditions are suitable I use the trailing seat, but it is just as easy to operate without - it's a versatile machine," he comments. "It turns easily at the end of the run without leaving any marks."
With three years' service, the current Premier has proved highly reliable, and Rob points out that the blade is only just ready for a sharpen, despite being in daily use.
"I gradually go down to the playing height of cut as we get closer to the season, as well as the simple height adjustment it's also easy to maintain - there's just one grease point, then I check the oil, lubricate the cylinder and cables and it's done."
And Rob will rely on Dennis to help him produce top quality training facilities too this season.
"We've just taken on a new training ground at Somercotes, and we have seen such good results with the Dennis Premier that it was the obvious choice for that pitch too," he explains.
Rob uses his local Dennis dealer to supply and offer parts and service back up for the mowers and he comments that he enjoys a great relationship with them and with Dennis who are also close by.
The Dennis Premier is proving a fitting choice for a club that is very much on the up.
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