Welcome to this edition of meet the groundsman/greenkeeper in this blog we ask Steve Johnson of VCD Athletic eight questions on life there. Questions including what is the best advice ever given and what are the biggest challenges facing groundsmen going forward.
Tells us a bit about yourself and where you work?
My name is Stephen Johnson I am 56, I started as a groundsman 26 years ago at Halls Sports Ground Dartford looking after football, cricket, bowls, tennis and a par 3 golf course. The ground is now Dartford football club, after working there for three years l moved on to Redlibbetts golf and went to Hadlow college. After my time at Hadlow l then went to Sundridge Park tennis club working there for 17 years looking after 19 courts, 8 grass 7 clay and 4 hard courts. Emma Raducanu often used the grass and clay courts when she was a junior.
How did you end up in your current role?
In my spare time l played bowls at VCD bowls club which is a great club to play at and l became club champion yesterday. VCD Athletic club chairman knew l was a groundsman and asked me to come and work at VCD as the club groundsman three years ago looking after vcd athletic football and Charlton women on Sundays., we also have, VCD bowls which l really enjoy.
What do you like best and least about your role as a groundsman?
What l like about the job the most is the challenge of improving the turf surfaces and what l like the least is foxes digging up the bowls green.
Describe yourself in three words!
I’m friendly, dependable and hardworking.
What in your opinion are the biggest challenge facing groundsmen going forward?
The biggest challenge for groundsmen going forward could be the changing climate.
What makes a good groundsman?
A good groundsman is someone who makes the best of what they have and tries to improve their playing surface whatever their budget.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
The best advice l was given was to always use a stringline no one likes a wobbly line. My dream bit of kit would be a deep spiker, such as a vertidrainer.
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