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Only Mansfield Sand for Motherwell FC

Only Mansfield Sand for Motherwell FC: Paul Matthew, Head Groundsman at Motherwell FC, believes that Mansfield Sand is the only company to work with if you have a Fibresand pitch.

It is well documented how the experienced and highly skilled Paul Matthew has transformed the previously infamous pitch at Fir Park into one of the best playing surfaces in the country. Hard work, dedication, and an eye for selecting the correct products have been key in Paul’s six-year journey at Motherwell.

Only Mansfield Sand for Motherwell FC

Only Mansfield Sand for Motherwell FC

After entering the grounds management industry as a greenkeeper, he moved into football and Motherwell is the third club he has worked for. In that time, he has always been familiar with Mansfield Sand.

“I’ve used products from Mansfield Sand between the three football clubs I’ve worked at – Rangers FC, Wolves FC and now here at Motherwell FC so that’s a period of about 19 years,” he said.

“If you have a Fibresand pitch – then you have to go to Mansfield – it’s as simple as that. They deliver a very solid product and service, and they are a good British company.”

As Paul says, Mansfield Sand is a company with history and pedigree – in fact, its origins can be traced as far back to 1840. It has been a long-standing pioneer in the development and production of premium sand-based products and boasts the most up-to-date and advanced equipment currently in the industry.

From winter sports pitches, golf courses, bowling greens and all amenity turf areas – Mansfield Sand has a solution for all. In Paul’s case, he sees Mansfield Sand as a key component in his end of season renovations.

“I am predominately a Fibresand user and I will apply this at the end of the season at the renovation stage,” he said. “So, after we have taken the top off the pitch, we will then incorporate approximately 120 tonnes of Fibresand into the surface – but it all depends on how much organic matter the pitch has produced. Throughout the year, soil samples will be taken by Mansfield Sand to determine exactly how much Fibresand is required.”

Paul uses a pure sand and polypropylene fibre reinforcement product that is particularly advantageous when grass cover has been reduced due to heavy usage and wear during the winter period. It is incorporated into an upper sand soil rootzone and consolidated to provide a stable divot-free environment.

“What I would say, is that the quality and the consistency of the material, and the clean nature of the product is why we purchase it,” continued Paul. “Then there is the service you get from them as well. I predominately deal with Gary Cunningham (Football & Golf Sales Representative for Mansfield Sand) and if he tells me the order will be there on a certain day then it absolutely will be. They are never late, and I never find myself sitting there with the contractor waiting for the sand to be delivered – that just does not happen with Mansfield Sand.

“They are just a very professional company and absolutely reliable with solid advice at all times – that is how most would describe them.”

For more information visit www.mansfield-sand.co.uk

You can also follow the company on Twitter – @MansfieldSand and Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MansfieldSandSportSurfaces/

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FC Lorient groundsman dies

FC Lorient groundsman dies: A man working as a groundsman for Ligue 1 side FC Lorient has reportedly died after a floodlight bar on the stadium fell on him in a freak accident.

Read the full article from The Daily Mail here

FC Lorient groundsman dies

FC Lorient groundsman dies

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Brush-Pro keeps it clean at Worksop Town FC

Brush-Pro keeps it clean at Worksop Town FC: After a new synthetic pitch quickly turned fortunes around for Worksop Town Football Club, the club’s attentions soon turned to the maintenance of their new pitch. Life president and groundsman Keith Ilett explains why they chose the SISIS Brush-Pro.

It is safe to say that over recent years, Worksop Town FC had fallen on hard times. In fact, the club was close to liquidation and arguably, no-one was more saddened than life-long fan, Keith.

Brush-Pro keeps it clean at Worksop Town FC

Brush-Pro keeps it clean at Worksop Town FC

“It was a very difficult period,” said Keith. “I’ve been supporting the club since 1954 and I was four years old when my dad and my grandad started to bring me along to watch the games. I then got more involved with the club in the 70’s and actually celebrated my 50th year at the club just a couple of months ago.

“Fortunately, Pete Whitehead (new owner), came in and he has completely turned the club around.”

One of the first actions under Pete’s new ownership was to remove the natural grass pitch and install a new synthetic pitch in a bid to make the club more self-sufficient.

“The revenue that the club receive from hiring the pitch out to the local community will hopefully keep the club surviving,” said Keith.

With a tremendous amount of usage building on the pitch, Keith required a machine to keep the surface at the highest possible standard, and this led him to the SISIS Brush-Pro.

It is a very common misconception that synthetic surfaces require very little attention but just like natural turf, they require maintenance as soon as they are constructed if they are to perform to the standard expected of them. Regular and periodic upkeep is required because it ensures a safe playing environment, retains the performance characteristics as well as prolonging the longevity of the surface.

The SISIS Brush-Pro is a ride-on brushing system comprising a pair of mid mounted oscillating units and three rear mounted brush units that that have been specifically designed for maintaining synthetic surfaces.

Brushing synthetic surfaces is essential to keep infill mobile, lift the pile and prevent algae accumulation, surface compaction and loss of porosity. The Brush-Pro has been designed for maximum manoeuvrability and operator comfort with features such as an electric start, hydrostatic drive for forward/reverse and its brush combinations – oscillating for thorough periodic work and rear mounted brushes for routine frequent work which cause less compaction than conventional drag brushes.

Brush-Pro keeps it clean at Worksop Town FC

Brush-Pro keeps it clean at Worksop Town FC

“I’m so happy with the Brush-Pro,” said Keith. “It really does leave you with an immaculate pitch once you’ve used the machine and we tend to give it a good brush after every ten hours of usage.

“I like to take it nice and slow when I’m using the Brush-Pro and I tend to brush in different directions in order to get the best results – it is fantastic breaking up any compaction which could potentially cause problems.

“It’s so comfortable to use as well – it is highly manoeuvrable and just a joy to use.”

Keith is now looking forward to a brighter future ahead.

“This is the start of new beginnings. We’ve got a great new pitch, brilliant equipment and a new owner who knows his football and knows his business – we couldn’t be in a better place.”

For further information or a no obligation demonstration, please contact SISIS on 01332 824 777 or visit www.sisis.com

For more news, reviews and insightful views, you can follow SISIS on Twitter and Instagram @SISISMachinery and like the company’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/SISISMachinery. You can also view the latest SISIS videos by visiting www.youtube.com/SISISMachinery

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Trio of INFINICUT’s at Reading FC

Trio of INFINICUT’s at Reading FC: Reading Football Club are delighted with their trio of 34” INFINICUT® Fixed Head mowers – reducing noise, hand-arm vibration and lowering the club’s fuel costs.

For Grounds Manager Adam Grantham, as well as ticking a number of environmental boxes, the mowers have also achieved a significantly improved quality of cut.

Trio of INFINICUT’s at Reading FC

Trio of INFINICUT’s at Reading FC

Adam has been with the club for 16 years and is supported by a team of four at the club’s Madejski Stadium, with a further team of eight looking after Hogwood Park training ground, and their new state-of-the-art Bearwood Park facility. “There’s no denying that the industry is moving towards the electric route. We have to be mindful, in a stadium environment, of the decibel levels and the way this pollutes and echoes. Not only that but we should all be looking at methods and machines that are greener and safer for our teams to use on a daily basis.”

“We’d been in discussions with Vinny Tarbox for quite a while and trialled a couple of different INFINICUT® models before deciding that the Fixed Head machines were going to be the best fit. They have delivered a superior cut and finish and handle well, dealing with the camber and ‘shelf’ that surrounds the pitch” he explains. Its lithium battery power means quiet operation comes as standard, with the club’s shed now rigged up with easy ‘in and out’ charging points.

They also purchased a set of TurfClean™ cassettes for post-match debris removal and surface clearance, as well as ThatchMaster™ cassettes from the renowned TMSystem™. “Compared to other similar cassettes I’ve used, the blades on the ThatchMaster™ are so fine and intricate that they do a fantastic job of pulling everything out that shouldn’t be there. These were in use between the end of July and October, weather dependant, cleaning up the canopy and removing any thatch. This meant we went into the new rugby season, and winter months, in peak condition.”

Adam concludes, “The support we’ve had from Vinny and service technician Jonty Norton has been excellent throughout, providing help and advice to my team and I since we took delivery of the units in June 2019. With the combination of cassettes we have at our disposal, and the superior cut quality we’re achieving with the INFINICUT®, we’re in great shape as we, as an industry, continue to look for greener, cleaner ways to optimise plant health.”

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INFINICUT Delivers At Chesterfield FC

INFINICUT Delivers At Chesterfield FC: Equipped with the TurfClean™ cassette and a duo of INFINICUT® mowers, Head Groundsman at Chesterfield Football Club Liam Reynolds is delivering a premier finish at the clubs Proact Stadium.

Such is the standard of surface preparation and aesthetic quality that Liam was recently awarded runner-up in the National League Groundsman of the Year Awards for 2019.

INFINICUT Delivers At Chesterfield FC

Together with his colleagues at Premier Pitches, Liam took over the maintenance at Chesterfield FC in 2016. In addition to the wealth of experience within the team, Liam also brought with him a fleet of machinery including two INFINICUT® mowers from MTD Specialty Turf Products. “We have two 34” mowers, one Floating Head and one Fixed Head. These are used in conjunction with one another, with the INFINICUT® FL being our mower of choice for match day preparation. They deliver such exceptional cut quality, which doesn’t go unnoticed by the spectators, players and managers alike who all comment on the stripe definition and overall appearance.”

The most recent addition to his armoury is the TurfClean™ hygiene cassette, which Liam uses in the INFINICUT® FL for post-match clean-up. Fitted with an angled comb beneath a rotary brush, the TurfClean™ effectively collects divots, debris and organic matter while standing the grass plant up to help ensure a healthy sward. “With the two adjustable rollers on the FL, we can adjust both the height and the angle of the TurfClean™ cassette to clean deep down into the turf canopy or raise it up to just remove debris off the top.”

“It’s brilliant even in the wet” Liam explains. “Once debris is collected in the comb, the rotating brush then gives no option but to throw the collected material into the box, leaving nothing behind.” In use after every match and training session, the TurfClean™ also comes into its own through the winter, when the plant is at its most vulnerable. “When growth is slow, we will use the TurfClean™ during prep instead of cutting and it puts down a fantastic stripe without risking any unnecessary stress to the plant. The sharpness of cut delivered by the INFINI’s, together with the hygiene we’re achieving with the TurfClean™, has dramatically improved the health and condition of our surface.”

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Vandals Hit Real Fife FC

Vandals Hit Real Fife FC: Reckless vandals who have been tearing up a Fife football pitch by using it as a race track are placing young lives at risk and could force a local club to relocate altogether.

The stark message has been delivered by volunteers with Real Fife FC, which has been resident at East Wemyss’ McDuff Park since 2012, after their surface was ripped up again over the weekend.

Vandals Hit Real Fife FC

Five teams had been playing on McDuff Park at the beginning of last year but the club had to move four of them to other facilities in Kirkcaldy to ensure the availability of a pitch each week.

With the mindless quad bike and mini-moto users continuing to abuse the area, even at times when the youngsters have been playing on the grass, club volunteers are considering moving away from the village permanently.

Wayne Carroll, Real Fife FC club secretary and the club’s child welfare and protection officer, said the actions of a minority were causing problems for scores of young people and their families.

He said: “Real Fife FC are currently paying out £15,000 each year to the local authorities for training facilities and pitch hires, which is definitely not an insignificant amount of money for a non-profit grassroots football club.

“We currently have approximately 220 boys and girls at the club, with around 40 non-paid volunteers trying to ensure we can provide our local kids with an opportunity to play football, develop their interpersonal skills and have safe fun.

“We are in current talks with the local authorities trying to secure facilities large enough to house all of our kids but as you can imagine, there are limited options for us.

“We don’t want to pull out of the park at East Wemyss as it’s an important part of the club’s history but there is only so much a club like us can take.”

Real Fife FC’s forced move to alternative pitches in Kirkcaldy is having a knock-on effect in the Lang Toun due to the limited number of pitches available there.

“The kids and youths doing this damage are from the surrounding area,” Mr Carroll added.

“It’s hard to believe the community don’t know who is doing this regular damage, and we would ask that they come forward and help us.

“We have had, at times, the youths driving the motorised vehicles around the pitch during actual games and, as the club’s child welfare and protection officer, this gives me great concern for the safety of our kids.”

The news is the latest instance of illegal bikers blighting neighbourhoods in the Levenmouth and Wemyss village areas, with local councillors receiving regular complaints about unlicensed bikers.

Police Scotland has a dedicated action plan, called Operation Reflector, to address the anti-social issues, and anyone who witnesses such activity involving motorcycles should contact 101 or report it anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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3G Pitch Enables Buxton FC To Launch Academy

3G Pitch Enables Buxton FC To Launch Academy: EVO-STIK Northern Premier League Club, Buxton FC have seen their dreams turn into reality with the installation of their new 3G pitch, meaning that in September 2019 they will launch their academy for young aspiring footballers, a feat that would have been near impossible to achieve on their old natural grass pitch.

The club has wanted to set up an academy for many years to facilitate players moving up through the ranks to their first team, producing home grown ‘Buxton’ players. This was paired with the need for increased community participation in the area along with the requirement to reduce the number of cancelled fixtures after having a number of matches that had to be rearranged in the 17-18 season, resulting in not only a loss of revenue on the gate but also from food and beverage match day sales.

3G Pitch Enables Buxton FC To Launch Academy

Playing in the Premier League of the EVO-STIK NPL, Buxton FC are the latest NPL club to select official league pitch partners, GreenFields to install their new 3G pitch. The club now proudly boast one of the highest spec 3G pitches in the country with the same product installed at the likes of Arsenal FC, Charlton Athletic Academy and a number of Scottish Premier League clubs including Hamilton Academical FC and Livingston FC.

Buxton FC made their choice to convert from natural grass to the 3G woven sports turf, GreenFields MX Elite after visiting the 3G pitch installed in Summer 2016, based at fellow NPL club, Hyde United with the same product in situ. The high-tech product is manufactured using patented woven technology resulting in an extremely high tuft bind. This forces the fibres to stand straighter providing a more natural playing experience and visual appearance.

The new pitch which has been operational for just over three months now has received exceptional reviews already from both Buxton FC along with visiting teams. David Hopkins, Chairman at Buxton FC commented: “We are delighted with our new pitch which overnight, alongside the obvious commercial opportunities, allows us to at last fully engage with our local community and already we have been able to partner with Buxton Junior Football Club’s twenty teams, including the ladies’ team. Partnering with Buxton Rugby Club also means we are now able to welcome not only all the football community from Buxton and the surrounding villages, but also the rugby community too. From the grass pitch last year, which we could use at best four hours per week, we now have a facility which enables us to become a real hub for the Buxton community.”

As official pitch partner to the EVO-STIK NPL as well as more recently the EVO-STIK League South, GreenFields have an ongoing relationship with non-league clubs and the leagues themselves with a commitment to providing and advising on surface solutions as well as supporting clubs with all of their natural grass related queries.

3G Pitch Enables Buxton FC To Launch Academy

Paul Milton, Director at GreenFields commented: “Working with Buxton this Summer and on an ongoing basis sums up for me what GreenFields is all about. We aim to help and work with non-league clubs throughout the country with an emphasis on building long term relationships post installation. Now that the pitch is complete we will work with Buxton FC to support them with sponsorship as well as carrying out essential quarterly maintenance and being a constant point of contact for any pitch related queries. We look forward to watching how the club grows after the addition of the 3G pitch and to a long partnership between us.”

The completed pitch has been tested to both FIFA Quality and World Rugby performance standards as the pitch has been designed as a dual use facility to accommodate rugby as well as football to enable usage from local club, Buxton RFU.

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Pitch Renovation At Reading FC

Pitch Renovation At Reading FC: The Madejski Stadium has been home to Championship club Reading FC since its construction in 1999. With the playing surface having undergone significant wear and tear over recent seasons, especially given its dual function as the home ground for London Irish RFC, Reading commissioned a full reconstruction during the summer of 2017, in preparation for a renewed promotion challenge in the 2017/18 season.

The challenge

With the new Championship season just around the corner, Reading FC had just a five-week period to remove the existing pitch, replace both the lower and upper rootzones, and then relay the grass playing surface before completing the installation of the SISGRASS hybrid pitch system. All of the work needed to be undertaken and completed in time for Reading’s first home game of the season on 8 August.

Pitch Renovation At Reading FC

Given the pitch is used by both Reading FC and long-term tenants, London Irish RFC, the playing surface is not afforded the regular ‘off-weekends’ that other non-ground sharing clubs benefit from; while the stresses and strains of hosting regular rugby fixtures further test the durability of the pitch. As such, the club identified the need for a long-lasting hybrid solution which could withstand the intensity and variety of multi-sport use, without sacrificing the playability associated with a grass pitch.

The new pitch is a 95% natural and 5% synthetic fibre surface that is able to deliver longer playing hours with fast recovery times, making it ideal for the playing demands at Madejski Stadium.

With a view to starting work as quickly as possible, Reading FC appointed specialist sports surface contractors, M J Abbott Ltd. Given the tight timescales, and having worked together before on a series of projects, M J Abbott turned to Tarmac’s Topsport team to supply the drainage gravel, lower rootzone sand and upper rootzone for the project.

The solution

As the pitch playing surface was to be completely replaced, the first task was to remove the existing playing surface, followed by the rootzones and both the sub-pitch irrigation system and heating pipe system, ahead of the sand being delivered.

“Timing was absolutely critical to the success of this project,” said Richard Goddings, Technical Sales Manager – South, for Tarmac’s Topsport division. “Given the club’s first game of the season was at home, the deadlines were completely set in stone, with no room for error.

“Sourcing the large volume of high specification material required to undertake the work was the first challenge to overcome. We were able to source 3,000 tonnes of sand from our Sevenoaks quarry, which was no mean feat given the distance between Kent and Reading. As the pitch would retain its sub-surface pitch heating system, it was essential that the sand was laid quickly so that the irrigation and heating pipes could be re-installed ahead of the upper rootzone. Our team surpassed this brief by delivering the sand, to specification, two days ahead of schedule.”

Richard continues: “As soon as the sand was in, we were then able to deliver 1,800 tonnes of Topsport Kingsley rootzone, designed to meet strict horticultural and playing performance criteria, in less than a week. The rootzone was placed out on the Friday and laid by the Sunday. It was then levelled off, graded with a laser-guided bulldozer, and then seeded.

“The rootzone is a carefully balanced combination of high quality sand blended with organic materials, which encourages the free passage of air and water to facilitate strong and natural root growth. The 20 per cent organic content of the rootzone helps to improve moisture retention, leading to a higher quality playing surface which is noticeably softer than other hybrid systems, giving the feel of a true grass pitch. The improved percolation and water retention means that water can freely flow through the composition during wet weather, yet improves water retention in drier periods.

“To complete the installation, the hybrid element of the pitch was installed using patented technology to inject fibres into the playing surface. The artificial fibres ensure the pitch maintains consistency and stability by holding the rootzone together.

“We have a great relationship with M J Abbott who contacted us about the project, knowing that we could meet the tight timescales that were required.  Opting for a hybrid pitch with an 80:20 rootzone has resulted in a stronger and healthier playing surface which should withstand the inevitable wear and tear that comes with being the home ground for Reading FC and London Irish RFC.”

Nathan George, Contracts Manager at M J Abbott, comments: “The Topsport team’s efficient supply of high specification lower rootzone sand and upper rootzone was integral to this project’s success, given the looming championship season and physically demanding use of the pitch. The quality of the material supplied by Topsport meant there were no issues with stones or grit damaging our equipment when stitching in the fibres to create the SISGRASS playing surface. Thanks to our established working relationship, the project went smoothly and we were able to deliver a pitch, on time and to the Club’s satisfaction.”

For more information on Tarmac’s range of Topsport artificial sports surface solutions, please visit www.topsport.co.uk.

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