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Struggles of a Grassroots Groundsman

by TurfCareBlog

So, I was kindly asked to write a blog last week on trying to do a village cricket field while holding down a full time job, this is what has happened so far in this seasons campaign!

Now I’m not here to offend people, I’m far from an expert, and never once will I claim to be one, but recently I was asked “what length is you’re outfield mower set too” my reply “ was just a bit shorter than the square cutter” the look I got back was of complete surprise! But when you have a spare hour or fifteen minutes, or a gap in the weather you get as much done as possible! And let’s face it!! we are all trying to achieve the same results, but some have more time than others.

Now if you’re in full time employment doing groundsman stuff, I can only think it must be a fantastic job, and one to cherish if everything is going right! I work in agriculture so if the weather is right, we are busy at work! I read these blogs of when is the best time to roll, and how the square is a certain height, and fertilisers with wetting agents applied. Now some clubs with their full-time staff have no issues or dramas when the timing of these things are something like perfect! But when you’re trying to juggle work and pleasure, and you get that ten minutes at the ground, you can guarantee the heavens will open so you have to reside to the tractor shed. (pub is optional!)

outfield ready for game

I have managed to drag the outfield last week to disperse them awful worm casts and begun to stripe it one way in preparation for the commence of the season. As a village club we plead poverty like everyone else so fertiliser is applied by a local farmer with his quad bike. Now this bloke doesn’t want any money for the task, I just have to get him drunk one match day ( and oh my, I’m sure he has hollow legs or was a drain in a previous life!)

So yesterday after work I went up to remove the netting that has been stopping them little cute fluffy long eared animals from desecrating my square over the last 5 months. As I pulled into the ground I noticed my car was reading a barmy 11.5 degrees outside! Obviously been from Yorkshire this means it’s something quite tropical outside, but after about 3 minutes and id pulled out about 5 pegs out and started to roll the net up I had to question “what the hell am I doing here!!” now in any village  club you will all have them lads on the what’s app group that are keen to help you! Let’s face it they don’t really want to! And they certainly won’t even contemplate it when it’s cold and windy! You will only get there help once they can do the task you’ve set them, wearing shorts and flip flops!! So, with gritted teeth and some very cold nether regions I managed to get it dismantled and rolled up!

Once the net has been removed, I’m left with an unsightly ring off long grass where the net has been. Now I know what I should do in this situation, go get the rotary and a wheelbarrow to collect the grass clippings! but there is a massive black cloud approaching. I’m cold, and certainly not contemplating getting pi**ing wet through at this time of night! So the John Deere ride on is the quickest option and is handy. Some would say this is a lazy approach to doing it but I left the house at 6 o’clock this morning and its quickly approaching 18:00! So it’s not a case of what it looks like, it’s a case of it’ll be fine

the next day would have been perfect for pre roll as the net has been removed and the ground conditions are near enough! Now I’m sure every club has one! You know! that member that knows someone, who knows someone that knows a friend of a lad that can cheaply service the roller and do some essential repairs to it! Well trying to find out what is going on with it and its whereabouts is like trying to find a batsman that gets a Jaffa first up and doesn’t blame the pitch!!

cricket wicket ready for play

Everything always turns out ok with the ground and eventually you do get that person that come and shakes you’re hand to contemplate you on the work that you’ve put into it, but 9 times out of ten it will be no one you’ve ever set eyes on in your life! It wouldn’t bother me but players and members just turn up first game of the season and they can never comprehend how much work goes into the field and the hassle we have to get it looking like it does on match days.


If you wish to write your own blog and have a voice within the industry,email me at turfcareblog@gmail.com

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KEVIN SPRINGALL March 14, 2020 - 9:57 am

Amen brother 🤣🤣

groundsman620467822 March 14, 2020 - 4:14 pm

Loved it

Dave Appleby March 14, 2020 - 8:33 pm

brilliant !!! not all groundsman have the perfect machinery or as much time as they would like to spend on the ground so this just hits home…..

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