In this Q&A with Stuart Kerrison Head Groundsperson at Essex Cricket, we ask Stu six questions. One of which is “what do you think is the biggest recent innovation brought onto cricket Groundsmanship”.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Most challenging? Dealing with the earlier starts that first-class cricket has nowadays, this season a lot of the counties were netting outside 2-3 weeks before the clocks went forward in March!
Achieving this on limited budgets, (it’s not all big bucks in professional sport!), has meant covering from mid Jan, using various methods for trying to encourage the grass plants, to think its growing time and start to draw moisture out of the ground.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Most enjoyable aspect of the job? Oddly enough I find the challenge enjoyable, although it can be a little stressful at times. Producing what your team requires for various matches is a skill that when it comes off is gives a satisfying sense of achievement.
What do you think has been the biggest innovation, that helps you do your job that has been introduced in the last ten years or so?
Biggest innovation? Koro, without a doubt, being able to remove the surface in one hit has opened the possibility to change the nature of a square almost overnight! Plus, it has the flexibility to be used for maintenance on squares and outfield to varying degrees of aggressiveness.
What makes a good grounds person in your experience?
What makes a good Groundie? Attention to detail and a willingness to learn. It’s the small things and going the extra mile that generally are the difference between the OK and the good. Anyone who thinks they know everything usually knows not much!
What would you say to encourage anyone who’s considering becoming a groundsperson?
What to say to encourage possible newbies? Bring enthusiasm, we can teach you the skills, but if you’re not interested to start with it’ll be painful. With enthusiasm the work is more a pleasure than a chore, and we as managers should be aware of the role, we have to play in nurturing that enthusiasm.
What’s the best turf tip you have ever been given and could pass to someone else?
Best tip received, to pass on? The old favorite of, listen/talk to people you respect in the industry and who have been there and done it, (there is tons of experience and knowledge at all levels of the game from local to Lords). Too much knowledge can disappear out of the industry when old groundies retire, and most are keen to share their experiences/tips/knowledge. As a newbie this can be added to what you are learning on the job to advance your own career, expertise, and knowledge
If you enjoy this type of blog, also take a look at our community hub, where blogs like this are stored – https://turfcareblog.com/community-bloggers/