Bonnyton Thistle Football Club now have complete flexibility and control over the maintenance of their full-size synthetic pitch thanks to the recent purchase of a Verti-Groom EV and Dragmat from Redexim. Having previously hired in sub-contractors, the switch to an in-house programme has not only saved the club money but has improved the condition of the playing surface.
The synthetic surface was installed at the club in Kilmarnock three years ago and, ordinarily, hosts training for all age groups from seven upwards, along with matches at the weekends. The pitch is inspected regularly against the FIFA standards by Sports Labs which was the first port of call for Ian Higgins - Club & Communities Development Manager and Pitch Maintenance Manager - to discuss the purchase of equipment.
"The results we were getting with our contactors was not up to the standard we were looking for, so Sports Labs pointed us in the direction of Ian Lauder at Redexim" explains Ian, who has been involved with the club in various capacities since 1978. "We decided on a Dragmat which we're using for the regular brushing three times a week, and a Verti-Groom EV to conduct a deeper, more thorough brush once a week."
"In a short space of time, these two machines have already improved both the visual appearance and playability of our pitch. Before, we had issues with fibres laying flat causing the ball to 'slip', not to mention the potential hazard this posed to the players… Now the fibres are upright improving not only the safety but the look of the pitch."
The Redexim Verti-Groom EV features a combination of tines and brushes to decompact, redistribute and level the infill. Its 2.0m working width means surfaces can be covered quickly, with the working depth of up to 5.5mm easily adjustable to suit conditions. "Hamilton Brothers supplied the equipment and delivered fantastic product training at the installation. Now that I'm on my own with it, I've had no issues whatsoever, it's all nice and straight forward to set-up and use."
Ian adds, "The club and I are extremely grateful for the funding and support from the Suez Communities Trust Fund, without which, the purchase of the tractor and associated equipment would not have been possible. Thanks to this, we now have the flexibility to conduct the maintenance as and when we need to which should also help to maximise the longevity of our carpet."