Q+A with Scott Tingley of Watford FC, in this insightful blog we ask Scott six question. Questions asked are to help or and encourage anyone who reads this. My favourite question was what, is your biggest turf tip you can pass onto other Groundspersons.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Managing people! I always say the job is as difficult as you make it and as stressful as you allow it to be but what you can’t legislate for is the needs of your staff on a daily basis. Someone has something for you to deal with every day…. Car needs an M.O.T, childcare issue, need to leave early etc. Regardless of what you have on and how under pressure you might be, it’s your job to deal with that!
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Producing the highest standards over a football season. The 2020/21 season played in the championship was very full on, the team trained on the stadium pitch before each home game until Christmas, fixtures were condensed due to covid, we still had to fulfil under 23 commitments at the stadium and 3/4 of our stadium staff team changed at Christmas.
To produce the surface, we did week in and week out, help the team achieve their goal of promotion to the premier league and win grounds team of the season with all those issues was an incredible achievement. Challenging circumstances bring the best out in my team and I, the sense of pride in that is the best part of my job!
What do you think has been the biggest innovation, that’s helps you do your job introduced in the last ten years or so?
Goes back further than that but the SGL lights I’d say, the technology available through SGL now is just incredible.
What’s makes a good groundspersons in your experience?
Whilst learning the job…. Commitment, a good work ethic, willingness to learn, listens to instructions.
Head Groundsman- the knowledge of knowing when doing nothing is the best thing to do! Understanding when to leave your surface to rest is a key element that not many are good at, we as groundsmen feel lazy if we aren’t grafting and striving to improve our pitches but sometimes you can improve a surface by leaving it to rest in the right moments. Knowing when those moments are is what the best Groundsman are made of!
What would you say to encourage anyone who’s considering becoming a Groundsperson?
It’s both the most challenging and rewarding job available. It’s a challenging job to learn in the first place and just when you think you’ve mastered it you become a Head Groundsman and the challenges come thick and fast… with devastating consequences if you get it wrong. Get it right however and it’s the most rewarding thing you can do!
What’s the best turf tip you have ever been given and could pass to someone else?
Steve Braddock always says if you have good drainage, you’ll have good grass cover. Aeration, soil amendment (sand), top dressing, thatch removal etc will all contribute to adequate grass cover even if drainage isn’t present. Keep on top of these elements of ground care and you’ll produce good surfaces.
Scotts blog will be placed in our community blogs section, to view more blogs like this take a look – https://turfcareblog.com/community-bloggers/