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Velvit to sponsor Exeter Chiefs

Velvit to sponsor Exeter Chiefs: South West premium turf care specialists, Velvit, have entered into a sponsorship deal with Premiership Rugby Club the Exeter Chiefs.

Velvit, who are based in South Somerset, have been supplying fertiliser to the Exeter Chiefs through local distributer Tim Wakeham of Wakeham Groundcare for seven years, watching the club go from success to success in that time.

Velvit to sponsor Exeter Chiefs

Velvit to sponsor Exeter Chiefs

James Whittick, Sales & Marketing Director at Velvit explained “We have been supplying Exeter Chiefs for a number of years and have been following their impressive trajectory in that time. We are aware that the live sports industry has been widely affected by the COVID restrictions, and in light of the Chiefs being a local club who have done so much for the region we were proud to be in a position to be able to offer sponsorship for the upcoming season.”

Through the sponsorship deal, Velvit are sponsoring up-and-coming player Alfie Petch who has already had an impressive run of appearances with the England age-graded teams. A Cornish boy by birth, Alfie signed a three-year contract with the Chiefs at the start of the 2018/2019 season and made his debut in November of that year.

Max Sandford who leads the grounds team at Sandy Park said “The overall partnership is vital to ensuring we keep the playing surfaces in the best possible condition and we would like to thank Greenbest for their support they have shown over the last few years!”

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DLF Seeds for Exeter Chiefs

DLF Seeds for Exeter Chiefs: A change in career is a daunting prospect, but it can often be made easier with training and support from new industry peers.

For Max Sandford, a joiner by trade, he is swiftly learning ‘all things turf’ after taking over as Head Groundsman at Exeter Chiefs Rugby Club 18 months ago. One of those trusted contacts is Ian Barnett of DLF Seeds who has supported Max with the Johnsons J Premier Pitch, in use across the club’s stadium and training facilities.

DLF Seeds for Exeter Chiefs

“The world of grass seed was very new to me” Max explains, when he accepted the top job in early 2018. “Ian, our regional DLF Technical Manager, together with my local distributor have spent a lot of time going back to basics, looking at cultivars and mixture qualities which has given me a much better understanding. The support has been invaluable and has certainly given me enough of an insight to see that the Johnsons mixtures are doing a fantastic job!”

A combination of J Premier Pitch and the ProNitro coated version, J Nitro Premier Pitch, have been used across the site for the last seven years. “We carry out a full renovation on both pitches each year after the final game and overseed roughly every six to eight weeks, depending on the time of year and pitch usage.”

“I am very impressed with the germination, the density of coverage and the strong colour we achieve year on year. The wear tolerance is a major factor for rugby, especially in the scrummaging areas, but the J Premier Pitch holds firm which is testament to the strength of the rooting.” On the back of Ian’s advice, Max is looking forward to trying Johnsons J 4Turf mixture for the first time this winter, to deliver deeper rooting and rapid establishment even under low soil temperatures.

Max concludes, “I enjoy reading about what other groundsmen are using and when I see Johnson’s mixtures used at leading facilities around the country, I feel confident that I’m sourcing the best products I can for the club. Ultimately, I’ve found if you ask the right people the right questions, you will get the right answers!”

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AMIA and Exeter City to host demo day

AMIA and Exeter City to host demo day: Agri Market Insight & Access based in Devon, are the exclusive distributors for the UK and Ireland of Selvatici Amenity Machinery.

The range of machinery offered by Italian Manufacturer Selvatici includes the Aeroking Vertical Drainage Aerators and the Sandqueen Sand Dispensers. On the 31st October 2019 AMIA, in partnership with Exeter City Football Club, are holding a Demonstration Day for the Selvatici Aeroking Aerators on the pitch at St. James Park Stadium

AMIA and Exeter City to host demo day

Exeter City FC’s Head Groundsman Clive Pring says “We have worked with AMIA for the last couple of seasons and used the machinery they have kindly leant to us as part of our partnership. It is always good to support those who support us, and we are delighted that Alan and the AMIA team can showcase their latest product with us at St. James Park”

Selvatici have been manufacturing in Italy for over 100 years near Bologna.  They have been manufacturing Professional Vertical Drainage Aerators for several decades which are now re-entering the UK and Irish markets after originally selling a number of units during the 90s and early 2000s.  Since then there have been a lot of innovations and improvements to the machines such as a new and more robust gearbox, completely renewed bodywork and a double lever for the front roller which ensures an easier lift.

The AMIA Selvatici Product Specialist Beth Williams-Nichols says “Selvatici’s range of Aeroking Vertical Drainage Aerators can be seen working at the majority of SERIE A Football Clubs in Italy due to their excellent performance and reliability’.

Selvatici manufacture 9 different models of the Aeroking Vertical Drainage Aerator ranging in sizes from a working width of 1.2m up to 2.5m with a good variety of additional extras such as self-levelling conveyors for cores when having used a hollow tine option.

Giulia Dal Fiume from Selvatici says “We are delighted to be re-entering the UK and Irish Markets as we believe our machines are a great option for groundcare professionals”

The Selvatici Aeroking 300.50 which will be demonstrated on the day features;

  • A lever-shift 3 speed gearbox
  • Front roller with water ballast for depth adjustment
  • Patented toolpath guiding system that limits the thrust on the edges of the holes
  • A working width of 1.2m
  • 2 different tine options (golf green and golf fairways)
  • Weight 510kg (approx)

As well as the Aeroking Aerators, Selvatici manufacture the professional trailed and self-propelled Sandqueen Sandspreader range. The Sandqueen Spreaders come in 4 different sizes and come with a number of attractive features and benefits.  Selvatici also manufacture Hydraulically and PTO driven Post Hole Augers.

AMIA are also the exclusive UK and Ireland distributors of the GL&D range of professional woodchippers.  The range includes Trailed Woodchippers which feature a unique Turntable design to allow for easy use without having to get into difficult positions.  There are also 3pt linkage models to suit all requirements as well as a range of Self Propelled Woodchippers which feature 2 engines with the first engine being to drive the machine and the second one to power the actual Woodchipper.

For more information about the Selvatici range and AMIA go to www.agrimarketia.com email beth@agrimarketia.com or call 01363 82928

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Exeter City’s Problem Fox

Exeter City’s Problem Fox: Exeter City have had their fair share of fox in the box strikers over time, but currently, it is one of the feral variety that is causing them a huge headache at St James Park.

Head groundsman Clive Pring says he is being harassed by a young fox that is breaking into the ground and digging up the pitch, which the club spent thousands of pounds on over the summer.

Exeter City's Problem Fox

When DevonLive visited St James Park earlier this week for an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the new stand, we were alarmed by several significant sizeable holes on the surface, which Pring says were created by his furry fiend.

“I reckon the fox now is about four or five years old because he’s been there for a little while and I would say once every two or three weeks, he will come in during the season and will literally dig a hole about a foot deep and two foot long,” Pring said.

“He will do that over the drain lines because they are sand and easier to dig but, during the pre-season, when we have a pitch that we are trying to grow in and the drain lines are exposed and less grass on them, he probably digs that hole in two or three places every night, so we are constantly having to deal with it every morning.

“We actually have a tool that digs out a section that allows us to dig it out and replace it with a better section of turf and that can confuse him because what he does is very scent-based. If we move his hole, then he can’t find it, so that sometimes helps.”

The likes of Darran Rowbotham, Jamie Cureton, Tony Kellow and Alan Banks made a career for themselves with City as fox in the box-type strikers. The Grecians even had a man by the name of Fox between the sticks as well, the goalkeeper and former manager Peter Fox.

“The goal mouth seems to be his favourite spot, possibly because the grass is weaker in the goal mouths and he can pull it out in seconds, but we are not even sure what he is doing,” Pring added.

“He doesn’t go in and use it as a toilet, maybe he is practicing making a burrow, but he has been adolescent for too many years now and needs to move on.

“We have a trap there that we sometimes bait, but he knows what he’s doing. He usually sets the trap off from outside and takes the bait through the bars! They are wily old things and very curious about everything.”

Perhaps the fox is trying to find Dido, the famous parrot that returned to Exeter with the party that toured south America in 1914 and provided the national Brazilian side with their first ever opponents.

Legend has it that the bird, unused to British conditions, didn’t last long here in old Blighty and after passing away, it was laid to rest in the goal mouth at St James’ Park.

City’s poor form in front of goal the following season was put down to Dido ‘cursing’ the Grecians, so he was dug up and buried elsewhere, although there is a different type of bird that is causing Pring and City another problem up at the Cliff Hill training ground.

They are feeding at a nearby waste plant before heading to the training ground to rest up, leaving Pring and his ground staff with plenty to clean up afterwards.

“The last thing you want on the new artificial surface is something that shouldn’t be there and bird poo isn’t what you want!” he said. “They seem to come in and rest there for a few hours in the evening and during that time, they obviously do their business on the surface.

“If you let it settle, it becomes an organic matter and things will start to grow within the surface, so we are constantly brushing it to make sure it doesn’t deteriorate and causing us a problem.

“We will get some bird scarers put in at some point, but they often get used to things like that. There can be 200-300 sat there and it isn’t beneficial for what we are after!”

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