Volunteer Groundsperson Justin Winter, in this Q&A type blog we ask Justin seven question on life as a volunteer groundsperson. Justin shares some tip and insight of much interest.
Name and club you work at ?
I’m currently looking after Flitch United ( Step 7 ) and Takeley FC ( step 5 )
Are you a volunteer or full time groundsperson?
I’m a volunteer for both clubs, I work as a self employed Plasterer.
How did you end up working in sports turf ?
I’ve managed a men’s football team at Flitch fc for 10 years this season, we used to have a guy working for our local parish council who was in charge of the pitch maintenance, we found that we was paying a lot of money and getting poor results so I decided to take action.
I attended an IOG seminar as it was called at the time and learnt a few basic bits of info and met some great people, I took this information back to my club and parish council. I made a decision that I would do all the work voluntarily leaving more money for the club and hopefully more control of when things would get done. The love for this industry very quickly became apparent, since then I’ve had some fantastic feed back and seen some great changes and the bug continues.
What the best piece of advice you have ever been given -turf related ?
A groundsman is always looking to make improvements, trying to do something at the wrong time can be very damaging as much as it’s hard to do nothing at all, sometimes that’s the right thing to do ……. Less can sometimes be more!!
If in doubt, ask someone, something I love about the turf industry is no matter how busy people are, “turfies” always take the the time to message you back or give you some advice. I speak to turfies and most of them I’ve never even meet, but one day I would love to meet these people to say thank them for there ongoing support.
What ambitions do you have for the pitches you work on?
My ambition is to keep learning, always do my best and continue to improve both pitches beyond the level of football being played on them.
Best and worst thing of being a groundsperson?
Best – there is nothing better than putting your headphones in, listening to a good turf podcast / talk sport and cracking on with your jobs, without doubt there is a huge sense of job satisfaction.
Worst – Has to be seeing the impact of having games played on the surface in the wrong conditions when a referee deems the pitch to be playable, when we all know it’s far from playable and you can sense the damage that’s going to be caused.
Favourite piece of kit you have and what’s on your dream list ?
Favourite kit has to be either my tractor and Quadraplay or Allett Regal pedestrian cylinder mower.
Wish list – A Lamborghini tractor like on Clarkson’s farm ……… na only joking, I’d love to have a pop up sprinkler system at Takeley FC, I think with a proper way of watering after renovation and during the warmer months would really help maximise the chance to grow a thick healthy pitch.
Brian and Justin on behalf of the TurfCareBlog Community.
Justin was also the lucky winner of one out of the two fertiliser spreaders give away draw, as in the above image.