If you are going to supply equipment to one of the most famous football clubs in the world, you had better be confident that it will deliver on its promises….
With the eyes of the turf maintenance industry watching, Campey Turf Care Systems had no qualms that the KORO by Imants Scarifier Collector supplied to Real Madrid would prove to be the 'real' deal and not only live up to, but exceed expectations.
The 1.2m KORO Scarifier Collector was supplied to Paul Burgess, Head Groundsman at Real Madrid, as part of a programme for improving and maintaining the quality of the training pitches. The KORO is ideal for removing unwanted grasses/weeds such as Poa Annua and when used regularly dramatically improves the quality of the turf allowing rapid regeneration. Combined with the collector, the KORO scarifier removes, and then collects the thatch and other material without requiring a secondary tractor or trailer.
Paul had already seen earlier versions of KORO scarifiers in action during his 12 year tenure at Arsenal. When he joined Real Madrid in early 2009 he knew that he could make noticeable improvements given the right equipment. In addition, with his previous knowledge of Campeys, he could be confident that their experience and extensive knowledge of pitch renovation and maintenance techniques, coupled with reliable back up service and spare parts replacement, meant he could count on their full on-going support.
"Real Madrid already used a conventional scarifier, but the results were not of a high enough standard. I knew that a lot more could be done. On top of that this city is the highest capital in Europe and the training grounds have to cope with the effects of a higher than normal altitude. The grass also has to endure extremes of temperature. In the summer it can exceed 43 degrees and then in the winter it falls to below -15. Both these conditions have adverse effects on the rate of grass growth and recovery."
Another major consideration Paul has to address is the need for the pitches to be available for use at all times. "The training programme is too intense for us to remove the full pitch surface area in one go. I had to be sure that any renovation process which interrupts play will be kept to an absolute minimum. With the KORO we can still keep the pitch in use while the work is going on. The whole process takes just six hours per pitch and the recovery period appears to be a lot faster than other similar machines. Because of this we used the KORO in the spring, summer and autumn to ensure the playing surfaces are all in top condition throughout the winter. There has already been tremendous improvement in the surface conditions and we will continue to treat all of the pitches with the KORO for the foreseeable future."
Image: Paul Burgess, Real Madrid Head Groundsman with Koro by Imants Scarifier Collector